Tuesday, October 01, 2013

U.S. government's Internet presence minimized by the shutdown

The shutdown of the U.S. government has hit the Internet. No, that doesn't mean that the Internet itself is reeling over the lack of budgetary funding for the U.S. government, but as non-essential personnel have been furloughed, it's obvious that a lot of the 800,000 that are said to be affected are involved with the government's presence on the Internet. A quick look at some government websites on Tuesday shows the evidence, such as NASA.gov, ftc.gov, and cdc.gov .

NASA.gov redirects to a site with the URL http://notice.usa.gov/. This URL is probably being used by a number of agencies. The site says:
Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.

For information about available government services, visit USA.gov.
The FTC's website initially displays what you might expect, then quickly redirects to a page that says:
Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission is closed due to the government shutdown.
  • The FTC Premerger Notification Office will be open to accept HSR filings.
  • Consumers may file FOlA requests, but they will not be processed.
  • Consumers cannot file complaints or register for Do Not Call.
  • All public workshops, roundtables, hearings and conferences are postponed until further notice.
  • We hope to be open soon.
The CDC's page seems OK, until you notice the red banner that says:
Due to the lapse in government funding, only web sites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. As a result, the information on this website may not be up to date, the transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at http://www.usa.gov.
The government's presence on social media is gone, as well. For example, a CDC tweet said:
We're sorry, but we will not be tweeting or responding to @ replies during the government shutdown. We'll be back as soon as possible!
Voyager 2 appeared to be taking it in stride though, although its account it now suspended. As shown above, it tweeted:
Due to government shutdown, we will not be posting or responding from this account. Farewell, humans. Sort it out yourselves.
That tweet was posted Monday, before the shutdown.  It's obviously not Voyager 2, but still on topic.

Ironically, the NSA isn't exempt from the shutdown, and its site says no updates will be posted during the shutdown. That doesn't mean the NSA isn't monitoring you, though.

A slideshow of images from around the Internet is available here.



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