Florida Red & Blue, the campaign to defeat Florida's Amendment 2, has confirmed that its website, SayNo2.com, was hit by a massive cyber invasion called a "distributed denial of service attack" (DoS) that took down the site for at least an hour early Thursday morning. This cyber attack came on the heels of another attack on the "No on 8" website in California late Wednesday.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in a denial-of-service attack, an attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. By targeting a computer and its network connection, or the computers and network of the sites, an attacker may be able to prevent someone from accessing e-mail, Web sites, online accounts (banking, etc.), or other services that rely on the affected computer. The most common and obvious type of DoS attack occurs when an attacker "floods" a network with information.
This attack was particularly damaging to the Florida Amendment 2 fight, since Thursday at midnight was the last time the campaign could accept contributions under Florida election laws.
More dirty tricks in an already dirty campaign. More after the jump...
Derek Newton, Florida Red & Blue Campaign Manager, had this to say:
With voters already casting ballots, the Internet is the quickest means our supporters have to donate and help defeat this unnecessary amendment. Every minute our site is down not only loses us money but costs us votes.
I hope we will learn soon who is responsible for this malicious and illegal act. Without pointing fingers, we already know the sponsors of Amendment 2 have poisoned the dialogue about the amendment with falsehoods and brazenly violated campaign finance laws so I can't say anything is impossible.
The Florida Red & Blue Campaign is turning the issue over to law enforcement.
This is indeed the latest in a long string of deceptive and illegal activity in the Florida fight coming from the direction of Amendment supporters. The Florida4Marriage Campaign has already been found to be using photoshopped ads from other campaigns (which may be a way of skirting campaign reporting laws), sending out false press releases with inaccurate numbers of attendees for events, incorrectly informing voters of the source of advertising funding for TV ads, and most seriously, illegally shielding donors and funneling money through non-profit groups.
One has to wonder how the "moral majority" can be so willing to push this Amendment with lies, deceit, and illegal activity.
Perhaps it is because this Amendment was created to turn out conservative voters in a swing state in an important election year- which could explain why the Florida Republican Party donated more than $350,000 to the Florida4Marriage Campaign. They may have given even more but funneled it through the non-profits as to not have to disclose it.
Or perhaps it is because the entire basis of the Amendment itself is deceptive. The purposefully vague wording (especially the "substantial equivalent" to marriage language) is meant to confuse voters into not only writing a ban on same-sex marriage into the constitution, but also stripping away important domestic partnership rights and benefits for unmarried couples, gay and straight, across the state.
Whatever the reasoning behind this Amendment, one thing is clear: We cannot allow it to pass.
While there can't be any more donations, we still have a huge ground game to run. Help fight Amendment 2 no matter where you live- by spreading the word, emailing friends, volunteering to phone bank from wherever you are, or volunteering on Election Day to educate voters at the polls. Go to www.SayNo2.com for more information on how to help...