The Drudge Report is a popular conservative news website and has been among the right’s most popular Internet sites for decades. Founded by Matt Drudge, it has in the past rattled the Democrats by breaking stories such as Newsweek covering up a story about then-President Bill Clinton having an affair with an intern.
Since this time, it has only further cemented itself as one of the biggest conservative news sites on the Internet.
Now it has experienced the biggest DDoS attack in its history, according to site founder Matt Drudge. A Denial-of-Service attack occurs when the website servers are overwhelmed with requests that it temporarily overloads the website and even brings it down. This is often done in retaliation or to make a website unavailable to its target audience.
Prominent whistleblower and transparency website Wikileaks indicated during the election it had experienced such an attack after it released a second wave of e-mails from top Democratic National Committee officials.
The result of the attack on Wikileaks was a number of materials being unreadable.
Speculation spread across the Internet about the source, ranging from Clinton allies to the government itself, about the source of the materials. Cyber warfare against enemies and opponents is not uncommon, as most countries engage in such actions. Russians have widely been speculated to be behind the various attacks on Democratic organizations and politicians this cycle, for example.
Considering that Wikileaks itself is viewed as a Russian front by prominent government officials and thus likely being treated as an enemy, it makes theories about government involvement less like wild conspiracies and instead, more plausible.
But what about when Drudge Report founder Matt Drudge speculates the DDoS attack his website experienced, the biggest in the site’s history, is possibly due to the United States Government?
The idea that the government has targeted political opponents also has precedent. The Internal Revenue Service has faced continued scrutiny for a few years now after it was revealed the government agency was targeting organizations aligned with the Tea Party Movement, which has largely affiliated to varying degrees with conservatives and libertarians.
If the Internal Revenue Service could use stronger scrutiny against Tea Party groups and use the law is a legal barrier to conservative and libertarian ideals, is it possible that the digital arm of the government is aiming to take down the Drudge Report?
Contrary to what many may suggest, it’s not a wild conspiracy theory. Precedent exists of the government targeting groups aligning with political opponents of the dominant ideology or party. Wikileaks has been targeted this year after it caused shockwaves across the political landscape repeatedly leaking details about prominent political figures.
It’s possible that the Drudge Report is facing the same sort of pressure. It’s also possible that it may just be affiliated organizations, liberal opponents, or rogue hackers. But it then begs the question: why is the Drudge Report now, after all of these years and everything it has covered, experiencing the biggest Denial-of-Service attack in its history?