When discussing viable options for private and secure messengers here we often complained that Moxie Marlinspike is vehemently opposed to open up Signal's server source code in order to enable an alternative infrastructure, let alone a federated network.
And now, guess what happened.
Amazon threatens to suspend Signal's AWS account over censorship circumvention
Direct access to Signal has been censored in Egypt, Oman, Qatar, and UAE for the past 1.5 years. These countries attempt to block Signal by blocking connections to Signal servers from all ISPs. [...]
With Google Cloud and AWS out of the picture, it seems that domain fronting as a censorship circumvention technique is now largely non-viable in the countries where Signal had enabled this feature. [...]
In the meantime, the censors in these countries will have (at least temporarily) achieved their goals. Sadly, they didn’t have to do anything but wait.
Last week, we received the following email from Amazon: From: [redacted], [redacted]<[redacted]@amazon.com> Subject: Notification of potential account suspension regarding AWS Service Terms Moxie, Yesterday AWS became aware of your Github and Hacker News/ycombinator posts describing how Signal plans to make its traffic look like traffic from another site, (popularly known as “domain fronting”) by using a domain owned by Amazon -- Souq.com. You do not have permission from Amazon to use Souq.com for any purpose. Any use of Souq.com or any other domain to masquerade as another entity without express permission of the domain owner is in clear violation of the AWS Service Terms (Amazon CloudFront, Sec. 2.1: “You must own or have all necessary rights to use any domain name or SSL certificate that you use in conjunction with Amazon CloudFront”). It is also a violation of our Acceptable Use Policy by falsifying the origin of traffic and the unauthorized use of a domain. We are happy for you to use AWS Services, but you must comply with our Service Terms. We will immediately suspend your use of CloudFront if you use third party domains without their permission to masquerade as that third party. Thank you, [redacted]General Manager, Amazon CloudFrontsignal.org