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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Galileoweb Shutdown


by Jessie Jiang

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Galileo staff, parents, and students were troubled by the Galileoweb.org shut down which was suddenly inaccessible from November 1st, 2015 until November 13, 2015. A former Galileo technology volunteer shut down the Galileoweb site for unknown reasons, but assistant principal, Ms. Lisa Warnke and Mr. Danny Tan of the Computer Science Academy Pathway worked together successfully to restore the website.

Although the website is active, Mr. Tan said that it is only a “static” webpage, where new content cannot be added. “I worked on it on Veteran’s Day and during my free time to see what is stored in this database and what tools and what commands to make the website happen [again],” said Mr. Tan.

Many students were impacted by the shutdown because they weren’t able to finish their assignments since they couldn’t access the website. Senior Andrew Huang said, “I couldn’t access my grades or assignments for AP Biology and I couldn’t complete it and lost points because I wasn’t able to keep track of what I had to do.” Senior, Nick Trieu added, “I couldn’t access the website and couldn’t do my assignments which led a part of my grades to drop.”

In addition to students being affected by the shutdown, staff were also affected as they were not able to deliver news and notify the students about upcoming events. College & Career Counselor, Ms. Serena Chan said, “It was really hard because Galileoweb was where we post college related announcements and the calendar wasn’t accessible so it was really [difficult] for people to know what events were coming up. We did try to reach students through School Loop but it wasn’t as convenient as Galileoweb.”

Believing that past decisions related to the website have made the school vulnerable, Dr. Reimer has been working with the San Francisco Unified School District legal team to get the website running again by negotiating with the volunteer. Dr. Reimer said, “Although the motive is not clear, based on decisions made along the way made us vulnerable. Someone exploited information to the volunteer and the volunteer gained access to the domain, server, and name of the website.”

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