LOS ANGELES — A technology engineer working on the National Internet Relay Chat System at the Pentagon has been fired after she said she was told by a senior Army officer that the shutdown would cause “terrible consequences.”
The incident happened Wednesday when a senior commander at the U.S. Army War College, Capt. James G. Schaffer, told the chief of staff of the National Security Council, Army Gen. Michael T. Flynn, that the military was suspending the Internet and social media for the duration of the shutdown, according to a Pentagon statement.
The chief of Staff of the Army told the commander that the Army was suspending Internet and Facebook for the entire shutdown, which was being called by Gen. Flynn and Gen. Schacher to allow the Army to make decisions on its personnel, the statement said.
The National Security Network for Army Communications and Information Systems, the system that controls the Internet for the Army, was not working during the shutdown.
The NNS is an Internet service provider, according the statement.
The NNS was suspended for an extended period of time and was not restarted, the Army said in a statement.
During the shutdown period, the NNS servers were unavailable, and some networks were not accessible to users, according an Army statement.
Military personnel have reported being disconnected from social media.
Glynn told Schaffer in a conference call that he was working with Army leaders to determine how to best respond to the shutdown and the potential for disruption, the Pentagon said.
Schaffer did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
A Facebook spokesperson said that the company is “working to ensure our networks are functioning in the event of an immediate outage.”