Philly’s 311 app is on the fritz, and the city is redirecting users to an unsecured website

Christopher Sherman is a self-described “superuser” of the Philly 311 app. Graffiti removal, missed trash pickup, abandoned cars — the Fishtown resident says he’s reported 408 incidents to City Hall to date.

“It’s a wonderful app when it works,” said Sherman, 40, who works in IT. “I don’t have to know the right department to call or be friends with my councilperson because the streetlight’s out.”

Now a decade old, Philly 311 is a powerful tool for residents to request basic city services. But when Sherman opens the app on his Android phone now, he gets an unfortunate message: “Whoops, something went wrong.”

The source of that “whoops?”

Philly 311′s app has been on the fritz for some users for at least a month. City officials confirmed two problems so far: The Facebook login function for users has been broken since December and, as of this week, an unknown number of Android users like Sherman now have no access to the mobile app at all.

“Unfortunately, we cannot quantify how many Android users have been affected,” said city spokesperson Irene Contreras-Reyes.

And while it’s unclear how many of the app’s users were impacted, The Inquirer has heard numerous complaints from residents who say they’ve been having problems logging into the app since last month and could not find easy explanations.

Responding to The Inquirer’s questions, officials also inadvertently revealed another cyber security issue: The online 311 portal sits on an unsecured website.

With problems piling up on the mobile app, officials have been referring frustrated users to the city’s online 311 site to file their service requests. But the link takes people to a webpage that browsers identify as unsecure, meaning user data could be vulnerable to hackers.

Officials on Friday could not explain why or for how long the government-run site had been using an unsecure connection, but a “multidisciplinary team” was assigned to investigate the issue after The Inquirer asked questions.

“We’ll get answers to this question by next week since this involves multiple areas, not only 311,” Contreras-Reyes said.

According to 311 data, residents lodged at least 50,000 complaints per month…