Early today hackers launched an attack against the SoapBlox network, wreaking havoc with a significant number of progressive blogs (including Pam’s House Blend, My Left Wing and several state-focused sites). At one point it looked as though the whole network may have been trashed, although at this point it seems that some sites (like our friends at Square State) were mercifully unaffected (for the time being, anyway). Some that were initially taken down are now back up and running.
It’s not yet known who was behind the attack.
Paul Preston, who runs the network, was understandably at the point of despair early today, posting a note saying that the operation was dead. Fortunately his latest missive notes that things are stabilized and moving ahead, and for this we’re grateful.
With luck today’s events will result in the development of a more reliable infrastructure. Paul has done heroic work building and maintaining SoapBlox, but like a lot of us out here, he’s been doing so with precious little support or resources. Perhaps today’s hack was inevitable, and I hope that it won’t be long before we can all look back and say things like “that was the best thing that ever happened to the progressive blog network.”
UPDATE: New statement from SoapBlox provides additional details.
Meanwhile, I don’t know if anyone has yet had time to call the FBI. If not, it needs to happen soon. Never mind the nature of the views being expressed on these sites – this attack was a naked broadside aimed at the very infrastructure of public speech and discourse in America, just as surely as if vandals had destroyed the presses used by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine back in the 1700s. As long as the United States professes to be in the free speech business, actions like these cannot be allowed to stand.
Those responsible need to be found and brought to justice, and we at Scholars & Rogues hope that the incoming Attorney General feels as strongly on this point as we do.