Can't access the portal. "Privacy Error"

Anyone else getting this error? I was able to sign in earlier this week, but not this morning to lock our submission for judging.

I sent a notice to FIRST and hope they respond soon.

I just tried logging in moments ago. The login was successful. If there is a problem, it is not happening for everyone.

Did you try a different browser? Perhaps close and restart Chrome?

Tried chrome and edge

It would be odd to have a corrupt cached SSL certificate, but you can clear the SSL state and cache with a reboot. You can also do it through Internet Options / Content / Clear SSL state, but a reboot is a straightforward way to accomplish the same result.

No idea if this could help, but if you are in a position to reboot, it could be worth a try.

Another thing to look at is your date settings. That it says “authority invalid” and not “cert invalid” probably means it isn’t this issue, but if your computer’s time/date are wrong then it can lead to thinking certs have expired or aren’t yet valid depending on which direction the error is.

Also, after verifying your date/time/timezone settings, try Firefox. Firefox (annoyingly in many cases) uses its own SSL Store and not the System’s SSL Store.

Tried the restart but still the same issue.

If it’s what I think it is, I just normally hit “Advanced” and allow it anyways

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This is all I get with “Advance”

We were having this same issue a few days ago with the portal, when accessing from our workshop. We access the Internet via a firewall out of our control (the organization that graciously hosts us provides us access via their building WiFi). To clear the issue, we accessed the portal via a different path (phone HotSpot). We did have to clear the cache via reboot for this to resolve the problem.

I think what you are seeing is the result of “SSL Inspection” being used by your firewall, which decrypts the traffic from the server, inspects it for malware etc., then re-encrypts towards your browser, typically using a new certificate that the firewall provides. Some organizations don’t use a publicly signed certificate for this function, which many browsers will reject as you are seeing.

Can you submit from a different computer?

Given that we have another 24 hrs, I’m going to try again when I get home.
I suspect it may be an issue with the firewall at work.

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If you fully understand the risks, know the website is not compromised and are confident the message is incorrect, you can bypass this in Chrome by typing “thisisunsafe” into the webpage. No joke.

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this actually works… and for some reason this was a tongue typing twister for me. had to do it 6 times to get it right.

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Well that partially worked and now I can confirm it is the firewall which recently got tightened this week to NOT ALLOW WEBSITES WITH FOREIGN DOMAINS!


Happy we were given the extended deadline. We had our pics in the system, but I was waiting on a student who was working on the brochure. He sent it to me Wed night after we were done for the day. i figured I could submit and lock our entry at work like I had done with the pics.

Thankfully I had no issue last not completing the task at home.

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