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NSA Website Inaccessible for Hours

The U.S. National Security Agency's website was not accessible Friday for several hours.

An NSA spokesman said the site went down during a scheduled update, dismissing claims the site had endured a denial-of-service attack.

A denial-of-service attack is an attempt by outsiders to make a network unavailable to its intended users.

Hacker groups Tweeted jokes about the failure of the government website.

The NSA has been at the center of a global uproar over its vast electronic surveillance operations, revealed in a series of leaks from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

A coalition of groups known as Stop Watching Us is staging a rally Saturday in Washington to protest the widespread surveillance revealed in the Snowden leaks.