Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Obama: I Want YOU to Crash John Boehner’s Web Server

Last night, with the clock ticking toward a default on the national debt and talks over raising the debt ceiling at an apparent standstill, the president of the United States urged Americans to do something: Call their representatives in Congress. Boy, did they ever.

President Obama made the appeal in a prime time address to the nation from the White House last night, and it appears that the American people listened. The Washington Post reports that the telephone switchboard at the Capitol is being flooded with calls. And there are reports that the Web servers for certain members of Congress have crashed under a surge in traffic.

Among the sites that went down: That of Speaker of the House John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who addressed the nation after the president. Others down as of 8:30 am Pacific time were those of Elliot Engel, Democratic representative from New York; Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican senator from South Carolina; and Rep. Michelle Bachmann, the Republican from Minnesota now running for president. (Bachmann’s appears to be variously up and down, but slow to respond.) The Wall Street Journal has more.

Meanwhile, the president’s Web site is operating normally.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik