Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lieberman & Rovian Tactics

Senator Lieberman lost the Connecticult Democratic primary to the almost unknown challenger Ned Lamont, and on the last day before the election Lieberman's website went down -- sort of.

Lieberman's staff immediately claimed that the site had been "hacked" and had been subjected to a Distributed Denial of Service Attack -- two inconsistent explanations of what went wrong (although it is possible that there were two separate attacks).

Lamont's staff reportedly offered Lieberman's staff space on their web server until the problem could be resolved, but Lamont never received any reply.

Instead, Lieberman accused Lamont's campaign of being responsible for the dastardly deed and accused Lamont of Rovian tactics, demanding a statemen from Lamont repudiating the hacking, a statement that apparently had already been issued by Lamont.

It appears that the most likely cause of the outage was that Lieberman had not purchased enough bandwidth to handle the demand on the last day of the election. In any event, the server has been back up for a long time -- and may never have been down -- although all it says now is:

This account is under construction Please check back soon. It will be available shortly. Thank you.

It should, however, only have taken an hour or two to get the web pages back up on the old server, or on a new one -- like Lamont's. The only explanations that anyone seems to be able to think of for this delay is that Lieberman's staff did not have any backups of the material on the web site or that Lieberman wants the site to stay down so that he can continue to accuse Lamont of hacking and Rovian tactics -- in other words that Lieberman's campaign was unbelievably incompetent or that Lieberman himself is using what he would call Rovian tactics.

I think the country is very lucky that Lamont won.


Blogger Seth Finkelstein said...

I'd call it "believably incompetent". Despite the hype, I understand that political website maintenance isn't exactly a highly valued job overall. Perhaps it's shoved off on an intern, who may not have the foresight to track bandwidth usage and plan for high loads.

7:45 AM  

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