Cloudflare and FOSTA/SESTA

Switter went offline at around 5 AM, April 18 UTC+10 due to Cloudflare removing and blocking the switter.at zone. We received an email from their Legal Department that reads:

Cloudflare has been made aware that your site is in violation of our published Terms of Service. Pursuant to our published policy, Cloudflare will terminate service to your website.

Cloudflare will terminate your service for switter{.}at by disabling our authoritative DNS.

We have asked them to point out which specific clauses we broke in their Terms but have not received a reply.

It's possible this was an overreaction, as the last documented time Cloudflare terminated services was when they terminated the account of a white supremacist website last year.

Given Cloudflare's previous stances of privacy and freedom, as well as fighting alongside the EFF, we had hoped they would take a stand against FOSTA/SESTA. Combined with their Websockets support (which Mastodon heavily relies on for real-time updates), as well as their free plan (CDNs are traditionally quite expensive), we selected Cloudflare to be our CDN.

Switter was down for about 7 hours due to a combination of technical factors, but we are back on another CDN provider. We apologise for the downtime.

We will update this document if we do hear back from Cloudflare.