As I was getting ready to head out the door to vote a little while ago, I wanted to check the San Francisco Bay Guardian's position for a couple of the local propositions that I had not studied in much detail.
However, the entire Bay Guardian website is inaccessible, producing a "Forbidden, you don't have permission to access.." message and a "404 Not found" error.
I can help but think of the Republican phone-jamming scam in New Hampshire from a few years ago, when Republicans hired dirty tricksters to make it impossible for Democrats to execute their Get Out the Vote strategy.
For those outside the Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Guardian (http://www.sfbg.com) is our most progressive independent weekly newspaper and it frequently locks horns with the monied interests here in California, of both Republican and Democratic varieties. They support positions well to the left of many mainstream Democrats, and mount sustained campaigns against rampant development and economic injustice.
There are several items on our local ballot today against which big money interests have launched expensive and intense disinformation campaigns, with the Bay Guardian being one of the few widely accessible voices standing strong against those who wish to make private profits at the public's expense. Many millions of dollars of private profit hang in the balance on propositions to be decided by today's vote. It is not hard to imagine that some of those who stand to profit would see the risks involved in tampering with the Bay Guardian's website as a "cost of doing business."
Given what we now know about the monitoring and surveillance of phone calls and internet traffic, is it too far fetched to suspect that this could even be more than a mere local problem? Is it really inconceivable that the influence the big money donors to the Republican party have might be able to "buy" federal interference with the Internet with an outspoken voice of criticism at a crucial time?
Again, before I get accused of wearing tin foil, remember, that Republicans have already pled guilty to something very similar in the New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal a few years ago. I know this isn't the best diary in the world, but it was something to put out the word on immediately.