What is UGNazi? Parler CEO John Matze, family forced into hiding after alleged death threats from hacking group

An antitrust filing against Amazon reports that John Matze and his family are now in hiding after their addresses were made public

                            What is UGNazi? Parler CEO John Matze, family forced into hiding after alleged death threats from hacking group
John Matze (Washington Jornal/C-Span)

Parler CEO John Maltzer and his family have gone into hiding following death threats and security breaches they have been facing from a group that Maltzer has identified as UGNazi, according to a court filing by Parler's legal team.

The court filing is part of an antitrust lawsuit that is being filed against Amazon, which discontinued web services from Parler after the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6. Parler was billed as a haven for right-wing free speech, and a large number of pro-Trump supporters flocked to the app believing Twitter to be too restrictive and left-wing. Parler has since gained a reputation for hosting a significant number of extremists on their site, and is believed to be home to those who would incite violence against the government. Though Parler shut down some of its user accounts, the bad press the site received nonetheless forced Amazon to discontinue Parler's web services. 

A general view of the the Parler app icon displayed on an iPhone on January 9, 2021 in London, England (Getty Images)

In response to Parler's antitrust suit, Amazon has filed its own response, claiming that Parler has "no legal basis" for its suit, claiming that its employees have received death threats and harrassment for their associations with Parler. Parler's filing claims that its own CEO and his family have been subject to similar threats, and objects to Amazon Web Services (AWS) attempts to "villify" Maltzer.

According to Fox News, the filing reads, "Although AWS’s motion to seal focuses only on its own employees, Parler’s employees have been similarly harassed and threatened. Parler’s CEO, John Matze, Jr., reports in his declaration in support of Parler’s TRO motion that many Parler employees are suffering harassment and hostility, fear for their safety and that of their families, and in some cases have fled their home state to escape persecution. Matze himself, as the CEO of the company AWS continues to vilify, has had to leave his home and go into hiding with his family after receiving death threats and invasive personal security breaches."

While talking to Fox News earlier in the week, Matze claims to have identified the main group that has targeted him and his family. The UGNazi group has not only sent out death threats, but has released Matze's home address and personal information publicly online. "There is a group called UGNazi that is targeting me," Matze said. "They published my street address, they threatened to come through my front door."

These kind of threats have become increasingly common on all sorts of social media, including Twitter, with many celebrities, journalists and goverment employees similarly doxxed. The UGNazi (Underground Nazi Hacktivist Group) are a group of hackers going back as far as 2012, and whose members have been arrested for cyberattacks multiple times. Violent threats on Parler increased following a round of deactivated accounts in the wake of the attack on Capitol Hill. Amazon isn't the only company to have banned Parler from its web services - Google and Apple have also removed the app from their stores, claiming that the social media website did not do enough to stop the spread of misinformation that led to the Capitol Hill attacks.