Last spring FDL was under constant denial of service attack, which many of our readers directly experienced when we went offline. With your help we were able to make upgrades to the site and block many of the attempts to take us down. But there is still a lot that needs to be done in order to modernize the site and protect it from attacks that threaten to silence us.
If you’re judged by the quality of your enemies, FDL has a lot to be proud of. Those who have witnessed our defense of whistleblowers like Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou have seen us go head to head with the Justice Department, the State Department, the NSA, the CIA and the U.S. military. We’ve published the work of State Department whistleblower Peter Van Buren when other sites thought it was “too controversial.” We covered Bradley Manning’s trial on a daily basis when no other news outlet thought it was worthwhile. We continue to publish John Kiriakou’s Letters from Loretto, and have helped keep his family from losing their home. FDL is not just another website. We do things nobody else does.
And the reason we can do them is because our support comes from readers like you who not only value the work we do, but are active participants in all of these efforts. Our readers are the people who occupy. Who risk their own personal safety to block construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Who are the first to show up and help their neighbors as part of the Detroit Water Brigade.
We don’t chase candidates or play the election horse race game. We don’t go dormant and then re-ignite every two years, hoping this time things will be different. We consistently advocate for the principles and causes that our readership cares about, long before they go on anyone else’s radar (as we did with marijuana legalization). We shine light on the works of today’s biggest thinkers through the Book Salon and Movie Night. We don’t wait for a particular political party to snap its fingers and tell us to care about something. We listen to our community.
This year with your help we’ve been able to increase site security with anti-DDoS software, and we’re proud to be one of the sites chosen by the Freedom of the Press Foundation to install a Secure Drop whistleblower submission system. But we need your help to modernize our software and bring new features to our community like HTTPS that will protect our readers’ privacy.
The donations of ordinary citizens mean less and less in our electoral system as the donations of corporations grow ever more massive, breaking one spending record after another. But those same donations are what keep us alive. So as your email inbox gets stuffed with one after another entreaty for campaign dollars that will all too quickly be forgotten when corporate donors come knocking for their quid pro quo, remember that the day the election is over we’ll still be here doing the things that nobody else does, regardless of the winners and losers.