Special Reports

A dispute over an Indian Trust Fund mismanagement issue
shuts down Department of Interior internet access, including the
US Geological Survey and related earthquake information systems
-- Seismo-Watch is affected.

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Update: 11:12:44 AM Monday, December 10, 2001

Seismo-Watch - Update

Federal Judge allows some DOI emergency facilities to reconnect to internet

December 9, 2001

In an Order, signed after a closed-door hearing on morning Saturday, December 8, a Federal Judge has allowed the Department of Interior to reconnect some emergency and critical functions to the internet.

US District Judge Royce Lamberth signed a Partial Relief Order that allows the Interior to reconnect certain services such as US Fish and Wildlife, the US Geological Survey, and fire safety services. (See Partial Relief Order)

The US Geological Survey restored earthquake information services early Sunday morning, December 9.

Seismo-Watch automatic systems, including the EQ Flash earthquake alert bulletin service, kicked in immediately and blasted out a series of delayed bulletins. The distribution began at about 4 a.m. PST, Sunday, December 9. All appears to be in general operating parameters.

Seismo-Watch continues to carefully monitor the situation.


Seismo-Watch - Update

Indian Trust Fund Mismanagement shuts down Department of Interior Internet access, including the US Geological Survey and earthquake information services, -- Seismo-Watch affected.

December 7, 2001

In a recent decision by a Federal Court Judge Royce Lamberth, the United States Department of Interior (DOI) has been ordered to shut down all internet access, including web pages, e-mail and ftp operations.

This decision comes as a result of a dispute regarding the Indian Trust Management System and the alleged mismanagement of possibly $10 billion tribal assets. Read more about the news regarding the Indian Trust Management System debacle below.

The US Geological Survey, a department under the DOI, has shut down all access to its internet services as well. This includes all USGS earthquake information services. Chip Groat, Director of the USGS complied with the order. (Read Director Groat's Order)

This is a rapidly moving story with serious consequences for the USGS and all of its downstream information providers and users, including services on Seismo-Watch.com.

While many of the Seismo-Watch EQ Flash! alert bulletins connections remained intact, global and some USA data streams have been disrupted. Bulletins for some earthquakes have been delayed, including a M3.9 quake in Alabama and a M6.1 south of New Zealand (posted on 2001 large quake list. Two bulletins for the Colorado Delta M5.2 and M4.7 earthquakes were distributed.

From the looks of it, DOI may be down till at least Monday when Secretary Norton goes to trial for contempt charges. (Read contempt order from Judge Royce Lamberth, PDF)

There is an outside chance that this could be a long, drawn out thing lasting months.

Seismo-Watch will continue to follow this story and provide additional information as it becomes available.


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