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What's wrong with Cloudflare?

They receive a large amount of internet traffic and have the potential ability to fingerprint users and subvert privacy protections. AFAIK they don't do anything malicious, but I don't know they don't.

In fact I would say CloudFlare are better than both GitHub and Facebook, and I am only wary of them because of their position of power and the potential they have (ie. they are a victim of their own success). Both Facebook and GitHub have shown themselves to make political decisions at the expense of their users.

Depends on the definition of wrong! CloudFlare is a bit of an HN darling thanks to their employees' active contributions and submitting every technical post on their blog. Free distributed DNS and potential DDoS protection is also a tempting offer.

To privacy-conscious users: CloudFlare is the man-in-the-middle for more and more of the Internet, potentially tracking at Google-like levels.

CloudFlare may: ... Add script to your pages to, for example, add services, Apps, or perform additional performance tracking. (Unfortunately this is opt-out rather than opt-in.)


To Tor users: CloudFlare implements a captcha to protect servers from malicious traffic; the implementation has caused tremendous annoyance in the past and the company may have been slow to address this problem.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7977780 (example complaint, 3 years ago)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11388560 (9 months ago, from cloudflare)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11404770 (the tor project response)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12122268 (6 months ago, additional discussion of tor vs. captcha)

To DDoS victims: CloudFlare protects several DDoS vendors while gaining business protecting DDoS victims, citing free speech.



To CloudFlare customers: CloudFlare has a "target on its back" and has faltered against DDoS in the past, causing outages for all of its customers. AFAIK: It's been a while.

To CloudFlare freeloaders like me: CloudFlare doesn't have much incenctive to protect its free-tier users from DDoS.

Related: Akami stopped helping DDoS'd pro-bono client Brian Krebs. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12561928

Ah, thank you for the detailed reply. I started using CF more extensively yesterday, due to their free CDN (which is working great), but I agree that their MITMing the internet is worrisome. Maybe I should switch to MaxMind, if it's cheaper than CloudFront.

Like Ghostery, it is important to be aware of the cons but I'm still using CloudFlare.

In my book CloudFront easily ranks ahead of had-been "do no evil" Google's irrevocably merging it's entire history on me ex post facto. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12760003

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