Feeds

Curiouser and curiouser: Aussie gov censors the censorship news

Now we're not allowed to know who is responsible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.