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October 8, 2013
It's not just physical services and offices that are being affected by the US shutdown - some important government-run web sites are also unavailable too.
After a shutdown came into effect last week as a result of US Congress failing to meet a deadline to bring in a new budget; hundreds of thousands of workers were forced to take unpaid leave. This has resulted in a variety of services being made unavailable - both offline and online.
For example, the hugely popular NASA web site currently has a message posted on it stating:
"Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available. We sincerely regret this inconvenience." While the site isn't operational, NASA Mission Control is still functioning - which is probably a great relief to astronauts serving on the Space Station.
Also offline are the Amber Alert, US Department Of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web sites - and a swathe of other federally operated online destinations. Federal government domains still either fully or partially functioning are usually those associated with protecting life and property.
Other sites, such as that for the Secret Service and FBI, are displaying notices that information may be out of date.
NetCraft reports that while President Barack Obama's web site is still operational, an SSL certificate used on barackobama.com has expired; causing some browsers to generate a warning message. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a server-side service that is commonly used to encrypt data submitted by an online form and is an essential part of ecommerce transactions.
While the rest of the world may scratch its head at the curious goings-on in the USA; life and the Internet (for the most part) goes on.
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