Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

"Peerblog," German Homage to American-Style Politics, Shuttered After DDoS Attacks

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 7 2013

The man behind a blog funded by anonymous business donors supporting German Social Democratic chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück has permanently closed his site after several denial of service attacks, Der Spiegel reported today.

Yesterday, techPresident reported on Peerblog, maintained by former magazine journalist Karl-Heinz Steinkühler. In what Steinkühler called American-style politics — meaning on the Internet and operating with the support of anonymous donors — the blog promised to sing the praises of the Social Democrat, a little-known challenger to Angela Merkel.

"The political dialogue about and for Peer Steinbrück on this party-external platform has been brutally destroyed," Steinkühler told Der Spiegel.

Attacks forced the site offline for long periods of time beginning yesterday afternoon. Whoever's behind a Twitter account called @T3AMM2DU5A, who expressed support for Anonymous but eschews taking the Anon label for themselves, took credit for the attacks.

By Thursday, the initial Twitter account was suspended. It has since been replaced by @M3DU5AMAGIC.

After complaining of the attacks on its Facebook and Twitter channels, Steinkühler and company finally knuckled under on Wednesday.

Steinkühler told Der Spiegel that the blog's content could be manipulated by hackers, and stronger defenses were out of the question. A statement also claims that someone — perhaps related to the online attacks — was attempting to blackmail Steinkühler into revealing his donors. Rather than let this keep up, he elected to close up shop.

Der Spiegel reported that over the past few days, some within the SPD had also begun express the view that the blog was hurting Steinbrück more than benefiting him.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

wednesday >

In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

More