Friday, December 17, 2004

Distributed denial of service attack update

Apparently the DDoS attack on Nizkor I mentioned a couple of days ago continues. I've also learned that the Holocaust History Project has also again come under a similar attack. Fortunately its countermeasures are holding and the site is still easily reachable, although, unfortunately, Nizkor is not.

An objection has been made
by Robin to my inference from this attack that Holocaust deniers did it because they are interested in suppressing speech that they don't like in a comment about my earlier post. He makes a good point, and for someone like me who claims to be skeptical and to base his opinions on the evidence, it stings a little bit. In my own defense, let me just say that I have access to information that I simply can't discuss in public, plus several years experience dealing with Holocaust deniers on Usenet. I know how they think and what their tactics are. My mistake was simply making the assertion, forgetting completely that my readers do not have access to the same information and experience. Even with that, I could still be wrong (although I doubt it) about the DDoS. In any case, I'll try to be more careful about backing up any assertions I make in the future. In fact, Robin's criticism has given me an excellent idea for a post about how Holocaust deniers paint themselves as free speech martyrs but have no compunction about trying to silence those with whom they disagree. Look for it after January 1. Heck, the topic's big enough to need a whole series of posts.

Finally, Paul asked an interesting question about whether Holocaust deniers actually believe what they say (with the same question applying to various believers in pseudoscience). Wow. That's too big a question to answer briefly. However, he's given me another excellent idea for a future post (or even series of posts) next year.

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