Correction – Denial of Service Attack


An update on this article can be read here.


At approximately 12.55 pm yesterday, Newsnet’s host server reported that the site had collapsed under the weight of ‘unprecedented activity’.  Partial service was finally restored at 12.40 am this morning.  Newsnet’s staff are currently working flat out to restore full normal service.  Until we are able to restore full service, you may find certain parts of the site are non-functioning or are inaccessible.  We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience.

Internal investigations are continuing in order to track down the root of the problem and to ensure that it cannot recur.  However our server administrator has informed us that the most likely cause is a Denial of Service (DOS) Attack.  The pattern of activity which the site IT team detected points toward such an explanation.

Denial of Service Attacks are deliberate attempts to censor and close down websites which the attackers find ‘troublesome’.  Recently websites supporting Tibetan independence were subject to co-ordinated DOS Attacks which were later discovered to have originated in China.  

We have strong reason to fear that certain individuals or groups with an interest in Scottish politics may be adopting the tactics of the Chinese government in censoring media freedom of speech online.  

On legal advice, Newsnet Scotland is hosted overseas in Denmark with daily backups dispersed further afield.  The insidious nature of this recent event has unfortunately blocked access to all our digital assets.  Our IT team have worked tirelessly to resurrect a light version of the site which will be rebuilt in the coming hours.  Personal information such as names and email addresses given by site users when registering with the site remains safe and secure.  

Although we cannot as yet be 100% certain that we have been victims of a deliberate and co-ordinated DOS Attack aiming to silence us, we strongly believe it to be the most plausible explanation.  The questions which we cannot definitively answer as yet are who, and why.

If our fears are proven, it is a worrying development.  Although we are occasionally ascerbic and strong in our criticisms of Unionist parties, Newsnet has always operated strictly legitimately and above board.  We play by the rules.  But it seems that perhaps certain groups or individuals do not like what we have to say, and do not want ordinary Scottish people to hear it.  

Newsnet was offline all day in the midst of a closely fought election campaign which has seen the Labour party plummet from shoe-in favourites to second runners.  Every second that Newsnet is offline buys more time for the unchallenged domination of Scottish news by the Unionist mainstream Scottish broadcast and print media.  Scottish media freedom of speech online now appears to be threatened by those who would prefer the unchallenged voice of Unionism to prevail.  

Since this site started, Newsnet has campaigned to counter the distorted image of Scotland promoted by the Unionist media.  The distortion they promote causes us to doubt that a nation as wealthy and educated as ours, a nation rich in resources and talent, is alone amongst European countries in our inability to govern ourselves and to think for ourselves.  This Denial of Service Attack, if that it what it was, marks a new and shameful low from those who wish to deny our right to discover the truth about our nation.  Some people want us to remain too wee, too poor and too stupid.

Newsnet abides by the standards demanded in an open and free society.  We respect the right of our political opponents to speak, and have even offered them space to speak here.  But alas it seems that some people will apparently stoop to very low tactics in order to prevent a free people freely informing themselves.

We will continue the struggle to bring a truly free media to a truly free Scotland, whatever obstacles some may put in our way.  Newsnet will not be silenced.  

And the people of Scotland will not be silenced either.{jcomments lock}