Bush Campaign Defends the Internets from Furriners

From Holden:

If you live outside of North America you cannot access the Bush campaign website anymore. I guess they’ve written off the overseas vote, but what about our boys and girls in Iraq and Afghanistan? Don’t they deserve the right to read about our Glorious Leader?

The Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has barred people outside the United States from viewing its Web site following an electronic attack that took down the campaign’s Internet address for six hours last week, according to computer security experts.

Since midnight on Monday, no one outside the United States except people in Canada could see the site, said Rich Miller, a security analyst for Netcraft, a Web site monitoring firm in Bath, England. Internet users from other countries instead see a white page featuring the message: “Access denied: You don’t have permission to access http://www.georgewbush.com on this server.”

The move happened one week after the Bush-Cheney and Republican National Committee sites were unavailable for almost six hours. Security experts said the outage probably was the result of a “distributed denial-of-service attack,” in which hackers use tens of thousands of hijacked computers to overwhelm Web sites by flooding them with bursts of digital data.

The Bush campaign did not return repeated calls for comment.


It is not unusual for Web sites to block e-mail and browser traffic from individual Internet addresses and from certain countries notorious for churning out online fraud scams and junk e-mail, but security experts said the Bush-Cheney campaign’s move is probably unprecedented.

“I’ve never heard of a site wholesale blocking access from the rest of the world,” said Johannes Ullrich, chief technology officer for the SANS Internet Storm Center, which monitors hacker trends. “I guess they decided it just wasn’t worth the trouble to leave it open to foreign visitors.”


Jonah Seiger, founding partner of Connections Media, a Washington campaign consultancy that works with Democratic candidates, said that it did not make sense for the Bush-Cheney campaign to “consciously block access to anybody.”

“Maybe the next thing they’ll try is to block Democrats and people in blue states from coming to the site,” Seiger said.