A Message to TPM Readers,
This morning TPM published an article on the ‘hacktivist’ group ‘Anonymous’ which included mugshots of 14 accused members of the group which TPM obtained through a federal FOIA request. For six years the TPMMuckraker section of our site has chronicled public corruption, public wrongdoing and various sorts of criminal investigations. As part of that reporting we’ve published mugshots of numerous people accused or convicted of various crimes.
At just before 5 PM eastern time this evening, our site went offline. It took some time to confirm the nature of the outage. But it was eventually determined that we were under a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack. For those not familiar with these terms, this a coordinated attack by a number of individuals which overloads a site’s servers and makes it unavailable to readers. In layman’s terms, our site was hacked and knocked offline.
We have no direct evidence of who is behind the attack. Still, given that Anonymous’s signature has been denial of service attacks, the logical inference is as apparent to us as anyone else.
TPM is dedicated to bringing our readers the news. So we are mobilizing all our technical and legal resources to restore the site as soon as possible. We are also in contact with law enforcement.
We are lucky enough to live in a country where the risks and consequences of practicing journalism are usually quite light. Certainly compared to other countries. This episode is trivial in comparison to what numerous journalists have suffered in other countries when people retaliate over what is reported about them. Still, even in such minor forms, reporting the facts about criminal activity and the news of the day is not without consequences. But we believe in what we do. So we can take it.
On behalf of our 25 member staff, we appreciate your support.