PUBLISHED: 09:42 EST, 7 October 2013 | UPDATED: 09:44 EST, 7 October 2013
The website dedicated to helping find kidnapped children has been turned off during the government shutdown but the First Lady’s healthy living initiative has not received the same treatment.
Amber Alerts advertise national and local cases where children have been abducted, and since it is not considered an essential service like national defense, it has not been funded during the shutdown.
One website that apparently is too important to unplug? First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, as that is one of the few government websites still operational.
Pulling the plug: The Amber Alert website displays this message now like many government-funded programs
Up and running: Michelle Obama’s healthy living website makes no mention of being hindered by the shutdown
Agency websites like the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Weather Service all have had their websites taken down or bannered with a warning that the information is not being updated during the federal shutdown.
Mrs Obama’s Let’s Move website, which is clearly run by the government since the address ends with ‘.gov’, has no such notification and is operating as usual.
The Department of Justice, which has had 15 per cent of it’s own workforce furloughed during the shutdown, said that even though the Amber Alert website is down, they are still working on the abduction cases.
‘Amber alerts are uninterrupted. They get issued by states and counties, which do notifications to media, on twitter, highway signs, etc,’ an unidentified Justice Department official told Buzzfeed.
Local issue: Text alerts will still be sent to smartphones near the suspected abductions during the shutdown
Communication: Amber Alerts will still be sent to freeway signs but that order has to come from a federally funded program
‘The .gov site is informational, not the law enforcement tool.’
In spite of their claims that searches would continue uninterrupted, NBC Los Angeles said that may not be the case.
The local affiliate reports that messages on freeway signs that typically flash descriptions of the abductor’s cars would need to be ordered by the federally-funded program in the state capitol which is clearly hindered by the shutdown.
State-wide alerts to smartphones and local media will still be sent out.
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