The public was unable to send tips to the Army Criminal Investigation website for weeks due to a technical glitch

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The ArmyThe law enforcement and investigation agency’s website malfunctioned for at least three weeks, depriving non-government computer users of a readily available way to report information about crimes, directly request records or access information for ongoing investigations of missing or wanted soldiers.

The Criminal Investigations Division website had been inaccessible to commercial browsers since at least September 6, when a Military.com reporter noticed the error and contacted the office. The issue was caused by a certificate issue that took “significantly longer than expected” to resolve, according to a division spokesperson.

While CID said the website has always been accessible to those using government networks, the spokesperson told Military.com via email that “we are experiencing difficulties for computer users not not owned by the Department of Defense… having difficulty logging in because their web browsers weren’t working. trust DoD-issued website certificates.”

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After Military.com informed the office that it would publish an article about the issue on Tuesday, after initially contacting the office on September 6, the office sent a message an hour before the publication deadline stating that the issue had been resolved.

When asked if this fix was planned or prompted by the publication’s investigation, a spokesperson replied that it was not, adding that “we were as surprised as you are that this was resolved”.

The website, now accessible to all users, is also a resource for soldiers to access information – both on and off duty, and without a government computer – in ways that may require discretion outside hours of service or their chain of command.

For example, the website offers an anonymous tip line and information about associated red flags and how to report online romance scams, a crime similar to “sextortion” that CID has previously declared. increased by 163% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The spokesperson said “there has been no perceived disruption” to services or reporting cases.

The website also includes information and reward amounts for what the division considers “cold cases,” such as information about CPS. Enrique Roman-Martinez, a soldier whose decapitated head was washed up near North Carolina’s Outer Banks after an ill-conceived and controversial camping trip with several other soldiers in May 2020.

“For additional resources, soldiers, civilians and the general public should use their local garrison’s website,” the CID spokesperson said when asked how soldiers can access CID resources without full website availability. “Each garrison’s website has a wealth of links and phone numbers to report problems and emergencies.”

— Drew F. Lawrence can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @df_lawrence.

Related: Cases of ‘sextortion’ of soldiers have increased during the pandemic, according to army statistics

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