It is unclear whether DDoS-Guard has ties to the Russian government.
Parler, a social media platform popular with Trump supporters, has partially returned online after receiving support from a tech firm called DDoS-Guard.
In January 2021, Parler disappeared from the internet after it was dropped by Amazon's hosting services over a lack of moderation. This happened after its users incited violence at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6.
With the help of DDoS-Guard, Parler's website has become partially reachable again. Infrastructure expert Ronald Guilmette told Reuters that the internet protocol (I.P.) address Parler used is owned by DDos-Guard, a Russian tech firm that "provides services including protection from distributed denial of service attacks."
Cybersecurity researchers have stated that DDoS-Guard is run by two Russians—Evgenii Marchenko and Dmitry Sabitov—since 2017. It has fulfilled contracts with several government entities, including the state-owned telecommunications company TransTeleCom Co Z.A.O.
According to the New York Times, Alina Polyakova, the head of a U.S. foreign policy think tank called the Center for European Policy Analysis, said that a surveillance system called the System for Operative Investigative Activities, “basically allows the Russian government to intercept any data on Russian territory and provide that data to the [the Russian intelligence service]." She also added that it is unclear if DDoS-Guard would be subject to such surveillance.
While responding to a CNN reporter's inquiry, a DDoS-Guard spokesperson said that Parler didn't use its hosting service. They did not comment further on its relationship with Russian intelligence or TransTeleCom Co Z.A.O. They clarified that DDoS-Guard does not provide any customer information or any other data to the government authorities, excluding cases explicitly stated in the law.