This website was down for almost 15 hours after what is called a DDoS attack, an act of sabotage that, the engineers who manage this website told me, was a considerable, relentless, well planned and focused effort to keep this website down for as long as possible.

It can’t be a coincidence that whoever did this chose the 16th of the month to pull the website down.

For some people the 16th of every month has become a monthly occasion they mark without fail. It is for them a day to celebrate the silencing of dissent. It is a date that is symbolic of the state power they are part of and they glorify.

They start building up to the 16th with ‘positive campaigning’ about the politics they are proud of. Then they go about censoring dissent, removing protest banners put up at night before they see the light of day.

Yesterday they marked this website for an attack which, at the time of writing, is still ongoing. Unfortunately I cannot promise a stable experience for visitors of this website until better fortifications are built to defend it. But the team is doing their best to keep it going.

This remindsjust how vulnerable free speech is in Malta. It shows just what resources opponents of free speech have and are willing to use to suppress it. Remember that whoever did this did not just have the symbolic effect of downtime for a website they do not like in mind. They also rightly assume that more money will have to be spent to build more protection around it to try not to fall again at the next attack. In that way they push up the pressure and make it more expensive and harder to simply say what they don’t want to hear.

It is only the internet version of what they do to banners and billboards they remove immediately they are put up: simply make it more expensive for people to openly disagree with the government.

Well we never thought this would be easy.

For now, if you’re reading this, welcome back.