Feeds

Death haunts government petitions site

Bring me the head of the sysadmin

Website security in corporate America

The Coalition government's epetitions site has limped online this lunchtime but is struggling to stay up.

The site was down this morning, despite a message promising its imminent availability. A spinner at Ten Downing Street promised to get back to us.

In the mean time, a bit of repeated clicking reveals over 40 petitions in favour of the death penalty – but only two have more than one vote each and even they can only claim four supporters.

This is likely to change once the site is fixed, and Daily Mail readers get involved.

The paper's front page this morning predicted restoring the death penalty would be the first issue debated by Parliament – the Coalition has promised to debate any issue which secures more than 100,000 votes.

Guido Fawkes, and other bloggers, have been pre-collecting support on the issue. Why a libertarian, small government blogger supports the right of the government to kill people is beyond the scope of this piece.

There is no doubt that Parliament exists to represent the British public.

But government by Wiki will be difficult if the bar is set so low.

It would be a weak argument that could not find 100,000 people online willing to click a link and tick box on a website in its support.

Parliament will need to set aside a lot of time to debate every petition in favour of bringing back Roobarb and Custard along with slightly weightier matters such as leaving the European Union or investigating Prince Phillip's role in the 9/11 attacks.

But before getting too excited at the thought of restoring public executions to Oxford Street, we should probably remember Clegg's previous loon-magnet sites yourfreedom.gov.uk and the Treasury's Spending Review site.

Both collected thousands of responses, many about Raoul Moat, and both were widely ignored by Whitehall before being shut.

The site is here, but don't all go there at once.

A Direct Gov spokesman said:“We apologise for any inconvenience experienced as people try to access ePetitions – this is a result of greater then expected demand.

“We are getting 1000 unique visits a minute – this is equivalent to nearly 1.5 million visits a day and is far more then the old ePetitions site on Number 10 ever received.

”The main Directgov site is unaffected and running normally.”

We've asked why this happens every, single time the government launches a website and why they can't use load balancing. We'll update the story should they reply. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.