Amber Alert Website Back Up After Criticism, Officials Say Service Never Went Down
Tech & Science, National & World News
By Joe Randazzo
Published: October 08 2013
While the Amber Alert site was down, the system was not. If a child went missing, press notifications, highway signs, and tweets, would still go out.
Due to the criticism of it being down because of the government shutdown, AmberAlert.gov is back online. For about a day the Justice Department was lambasted for taking down the site which tracks missing children. Outrage came in the form of tweets, blogs, and major news outlets criticizing its closing. The outrage was mixed with confusion though as the Amber Alert service itself never went down.
"The Amber Alert system was never interrupted, but to eliminate any confusion, the informational site maintained by the Justice Department has been restored,” Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon told CNN.
A senior Justice Department official said the site was put back up because of the negative attention even though the program itself wasn’t affected. If a child went missing, press notifications, highway signs, and tweets would still go out since they were not affected by the shutdown. The reason for it going down was because AmberAlert.gov’s host, the Justice Department’s official site, was closed due to a lack of funding.
“The Office of Justice Programs had the funds to run through Friday,” Fallon said. “Since they couldn’t staff and monitor those websites, they were put behind a firewall so as to keep from hacking or security issues.”
The Amber Alert website was just one thing affected by the government shutdown which is entering its second week. Congress and President Obama’s standoff has led to more than 800,000 federal workers being sent home. 1.3 million essential federal workers, 1.4 million active duty military members, 500,000 postal service workers, and other employees with independently-funded agencies are still working though. The shutdown will continue until congress passes a bill to fund the government, and the White House signs that bill.
Photo courtesy of TheGuardian.com