Feeds

Curiouser and curiouser: Aussie gov censors the censorship news

Now we're not allowed to know who is responsible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Debate over internet filtering in Australia is rapidly descending from high comedy into total farce, as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy ploughs on with his interesting approach of never committing just one gaffe when he can so easily commit two.

The issue, yet again, is focused on a script on the home page of the Communications Ministry which very cleverly displays a tag cloud containing containing search terms related to government policy, but - as El Reg reported last week - even more cleverly excludes the term "internet filtering" from its search.

This time, it’s the origin of the script that is under the microscope, as sharp-eyed techies noticed last week that the code contained a reference both to the original author of the script - a blogger and web developer named Aleks Bochniak – and the name of the individual who modified it.

Bochniak is reported as saying: "No, I didn’t write it for their website. They must have taken a version of my ‘tag cloud’ Javascript off one of my website tutorials. Their code is basically a modified version of mine."

However techies could, at least last week, have discovered the identity of the person whose code was "borrowed" by government. Not any more, however, as not only has Bochniak’s name been removed – but also the name of the person who amended it, allegedly "at the request of family members".

Curiouser and curiouser.

Meanwhile, what about the exclusion of that pesky search term?

In answer to questions about why the department has done this, officials have claimed it is merely to cut down on overlapping terms. According to one spokesperson: "The word wall on the minister’s website is a visual representation of communication from the minister via media releases. ISP-level filtering is part of the Government’s cyber safety policy and cyber safety is represented on the word wall."

As explanations go, this is something of a fail, since the tag cloud continues to highlight multiple references to subjects like Digital TV and broadcasting.

The plot thickens, as questions about the Minister’s conduct on this issue continue to pile up, and the explanations – as well as the response – grow ever more bizarre. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.