The WikiLeaks Party has launched in Australia, announcing its candidates, only to have its official site go down under a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack from an American "hacktivist".
From his current "home" in London's Ecuadorian embassy, Julian Assange has announced seven WikiLeaks Party candidates for the upcoming federal election, standing for New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
Standing in New South Wales are human rights lawyer Kellie Tranter and academic, journalist and former public servant with the Department of External Affairs and Department of Foreign Affairs Dr Alison Brionowski.
However, less than an hour after the party launched, the official website went offline, and has been unavailable since about 3.30pm AEST yesterday. At the time of writing, that's around 18 hours. Initially, the party claimed it was due to traffic, but shortly after, announced that it was a DDoS attack.
#WLParty website unavailable due to direct denial of service attack.— The WikiLeaks Party (@WikiLeaksParty) July 25, 2013
An American self-proclaimed "hacktivist" calling himself "The Jester" who has vocally opposed WikiLeaks in the past, launching several DDoS attacks against the main website, has claimed responsibility.
http://t.co/fBtUswO4pw - TANGO DOWN - WikiLeaks Political Party site in AUS. For grooming US gov employees & contractors into treason.— JΞSTΞR™ (@th3j35t3r) July 25, 2013
A cached version of the site can be viewed thanks to CloudFlare Always Online technology. CNET Australia has contacted the WikiLeaks Party for comment, and will update this story when we have more information.
"WikiLeaks Party is a party of accountability, it's not a party of government," Assange said during a live video stream announcing the candidates. "It's a party to put into the Senate, to make sure whoever is put into the government does their job. It's an insurance against the election."
The WikiLeaks Party has pledged to stand for the protection of human rights and freedoms; transparency of governmental and corporate action, policy and information; recognition of the need for equality between generations; and support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination.