Who Broke Lieberman’s Website in 2006?
By RON SAMUL
The Cool Justice Report
Arpil 26, 2008
EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is available for reprint courtesy of The Cool Justice Report, http://cooljustice.blogspot.com
The Stamford Advocate’s FOI request revealed that the Joe Lieberman website failure of 2006 was not the fault of Ned Lamont or his advocates, but originated from within the Lieberman campaign.
The FBI stepped in and investigated what Lieberman chumps claimed to be a cyber-attack by the Ned Lamont supporters.
Thanks to The Stamford Advocate , we now know that the Lieberman camp simply dropped the ball. While Lieberman blamed Lamont, he didn’t think it worthy to ask his webmaster if something might be wrong. If he did, he didn't like the answer and went on the attack anyway.
Being someone who works on small web projects, I can tell you that running a state-wide political campaign is a big task. Content, updating, website design, technical support, all contribute to the tasks of informing constituents.
In 2006, according to the Stamford Advocate, the FBI found that, "the server that hosted the joe2006.com Web site failed because it was over-utilized and misconfigured. There was no evidence of (an) attack."
What does that mean?
When a website is “overutilized,” that means the traffic volume is so high that the website needs more bandwidth. Bandwidth is the volume of information sent and received in bytes to and from the website. If you have more traffic, you need more bandwidth and, therefore, need to spend more money on the website infrastructure.
Perhaps I am an optimist, but perhaps voters interested in Joe Lieberman were actually seeking out information about Joe, and in turn, overloaded the site.
The other interesting point about the website is that when the crash occurred and the Lieberman campaign was pointing fingers (instead of looking within) they posted visitors who tried to access Lieberman's site at the time of the crash received a message calling on “Lamont to "make an unqualified statement denouncing this kind of dirty campaign trick and to demand whoever is responsible to cease and desist immediately."
I guess with only a few days left in the campaign, it is easier to point a finger than open the campaign coffers and pay out for more bandwidth or hire someone to fix the misconfigured mess.
Looking to the political landscape now, it is clear that the Obama donation machine works. I live near a casino and the Indian tribes don’t care if you put in your money in 25 cent increments or $20 increments. Hillary is working it out. And even McCain has a spiffy looking website (not sure if all the parts work -- couldn't stay that long).
In the end, the webmasters, new media directors, and the communication departments need to be trusted and taken seriously. With that trust should come the integrity to make sure the websites that represent a candidate don’t crash when your supporters want to help.
Thanks to the The Stamford Advocate, we can take comfort that Joe won’t become a Facebook friend of mine.
Ron Samul is a Website designer and publisher of Miranda Literary Magazine. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing from Western Connecticut State University and won the Connecticut AWP award in fiction in 2005.