ONE.STRONG.UNION. BLOG BACK ONLINE AFTER DIRTY POLITICS CYBER-ATTACK
New York, August 10, 2011. Dirty politics took to the internet on Wednesday when a hacker briefly shut down the blog of One.Strong.Union., The new group of SAG New York candidates running together for the presidency and several seats on the NY SAG board. One.Strong.Union. is going for seats after years of virtually unopposed control by United Screen Actors Nationwide (USAN).
“The blog is up and running again,” says candidate Jeff Gurner, who declined to describe how the site was temporarily shuttered. “Though the technique the hacker used wasn’t very Mission Impossible-esque, it did shut us down for a bit,” he says. “But it also galvanized the team. We’re more committed than ever to fight for transparency and inclusion on the NY board.”
Gurner adds that One.Stong.Union. has a Facebook presence and other ways of reaching the members, so the action wasn’t effective in repressing the group’s messaging.
The attempt to shut down debate is suspicious given the timing. Two key personal endorsements - one from Holter Graham (AFTRA NY local President, who endorsed as an individual) and another from USAN founder and former Legislative Chair, Cynthia Vance. Both letters challenged the credibility of USAN, which has been running on legislative successes accomplished under Vance’s stewardship. The Graham letter cut at the heart of USAN’s recent calls to “protect merger with AFTRA” by “staying the course” with the entrenched USAN leadership, declaring the new team the better candidates for the job.
Investigation into the attack is ongoing. In the meantime, One.Strong.Union. will continue to campaign for inclusive debate and discourse and for electing qualified leaders with a diversity of work experience. After a busy day rebuilding the blog, candidate Gurner smiles, saying “I guess this attack kind of made the case for our platform. We stand for an independent, wide spectrum of ideas and opinions, and for the sanctity of free speech. After yesterday? We’ve got a stronger message and more dedicated candidates – and voting members - than ever before.”