One of my hosting accounts, a VPS hosted by Dreamhost in Los Angeles, went down yesterday. The reason for this seems to be a DDoS attack on their name servers, which effectively crippled all web traffic using Dreamhost. DDoS stands for distributed denial-of-service which means attackers flood a server with traffic to the point where it cannot cope.
Dreamhost is one of the largest web hosting companies, and as such has unwittingly hosted controversial websites along with many thousands of others. There is speculation that the DDoS was targeted at Dreamhost because of them hosting an anti-Trump protest website, or conversely a white supremacist website. Dreamhost is currently in the news due to them resisting Trumps demands to release IP addresses and other information relating to the anti-Trump website. Coincidentally, yesterday they won concessions from the DoJ limiting the scope and access to the information demanded by Trump, prompting some to suggest that Trump supporters were behind the attack. In the wake of Trump, white supremacists and fascists have gained prominence and there is a counter suggestion that the Anonymous or similar was behind the DDoS attack as a protest at Dreamhost hosting such websites.
Like many people around the world I have been absorbed and sometimes appalled by US politics over the last few months. It is, however, easy to forget that actions and words in the US can reverberate around the world, especially as we have such dysfunctional politics here in the UK. My websites going down was a not too serious reverberation from the state of US politics, a reminder that everything is connected, and fascism must be opposed wherever it occurs. Maybe we will never know why Dreamhost was taken down, but it serves as a wake-up nonetheless.