As the federal government shutdown stretches into the file for longest shutdown ever, key web sites run by the Federal Commerce Fee and Federal Communications Fee are nonetheless down, leaving customers extra susceptible.
On December 28th, the FTC introduced that, whereas ftc.gov continues to function, a number of websites will stay unavailable all through the shutdown. Amongst these is donotcall.gov, the web site for the company’s Nationwide Do Not Name Registry. “As a result of authorities shutdown, we’re unable to supply this web site service presently,” a message on the positioning reads.
Shoppers with numbers they’d prefer to register can’t enroll, whereas telemarketers, who’re speculated to be checking a usually up to date listing earlier than making calls, additionally don’t have entry. In the meantime, there’s nobody round to implement robocalling laws.
Whereas it stays to be seen if this leads to an uptick in unlawful calls, there are already clear issues. The Washington Post notes that the FTC and FCC haven’t been releasing information that would assist third-party call-blockers replace their merchandise.
However the registry isn’t the one web site the FTC is shuttering. The company has additionally closed identitytheft.gov, a web site the place victims of id theft can report fraudulent exercise. The shutdown has left victims unable to ship their data. (An archived page from the company nonetheless has ideas for what victims of id theft can do.)
Shoppers might have hassle lodging extra normal complaints as nicely. The FCC’s page for consumer complaints is now rerouted to a doc on the influence of the federal government shutdown. The FTC has additionally closed ftc.gov/complaint.
Whereas authorities web site safety is hardly an issue that may be wholly attributed to the federal government shutdown, some have additionally pointed out that, as net safety certificates expire, officers could also be unable to repair the issue whereas the shutdown continues. The difficulty may make web site guests extra susceptible to a malicious assault, as certificates — just like the one for https://rockettest.nasa.gov/ — expire throughout the shutdown.
“We are going to resume regular operations when the federal government is funded,” the FTC says in its message to guests. As negotiations proceed, that conclusion nonetheless isn’t in sight.