Feeds

Curiouser and curiouser: Aussie gov censors the censorship news

Now we're not allowed to know who is responsible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.