Opinion Piece

Doing The Census Online Seemed Like A Great Idea At The Time

As I sit at my desk I was told today that I could fill in the Census online tonight the 11th Aug but it appears that is not the case.

So what has gone wrong tonight and what excuse will we see tonight or tomorrow because it appears to have happened again.

What is it today ? Foreign hackers , no not really hackers but maybe bunch of ” youths ‘ that caused the website to choke or maybe that we all came home from work decided to try again and logon to complete our civic duty for the government and the website collapsed under the sheer weight of hits.

We have been told that it should cope with 1,000,000 hits per hour but mathematics and the government , either side ) have never been strong points. So we came home from work on tuesday night and decided to do the census , lets pick a rough figure 6 – 7 million. Thats a bit more than the 1 million per hour and everything went pear shaped around 7.30.

So what happened ?

We were told foreign hackers trying to bring it down – no proof 

We were told DDoS attacks – no proof 

Lots of excuses but really what we have heard is ” the dog ate my homework” , just the words of bureaucrats trying to come up with a plausible excuse.


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Yesterday afternoon we heard from Paul Fletcher the Urban Infrastructure minister that now there was a router failure

ABS chief David Kalisch said the router that failed belonged to Telstra.

“There was the geoblocking that didn’t work effectively. There was a hardware router failure with a supplier to us,” he said.

“This was coming through our system in terms of the monitoring information and the intelligence that we have through IBM, that they were seeing that through another ISP that wasn’t doing the geoblocking, and then the router failure that took place with Telstra.”

An official spokesperson from Telstra said:

It was not a Telstra problem, it had nothing to do with Telstra.  They had a router problem.  The router in question is not owned or managed by Telstra or operating in a Telstra facility.Telstra provided a network link and that has worked perfectly throughout and continues to do so.Telstra Chief Operating Officer Brendon Riley has now spoken to Mr Kalisch and he agrees the information he provided was incorrect and this was not a Telstra issue.

We were told that the ABS tried to geoblock to prevent the overseas ” attacks” – did not work – if there were attacks.

Then let me quote the PMs Cyber security advisor Alistair MacGibbon who said it was not hacked , compromised , breached

 This morning we have Malcolm Turnbull saying that preventative measures to stop a denial of service attacks were not put in place ?

These denial of service attacks were described as a big truck parked in your driveway preventing you from doing anything – I think the big truck was all the people logging in to do the census and that’s why it fell over – it was overwhelmed , too many people tried to logon at once.

The ABS has lost credibility, show us the proof if there was a DDoS attack but stop changing the story, get it fixed and clear the decks of incompetence that made these decisions , those that are giving us excuses and restore some faith in a very important organisation as I would like to submit my census online.

 

Richard Pascoe is a technology consultant & technology commentator for the media on FIVEaa , ABC Adelaide , PowerFM , 5MU , 7AD and 7BU and has been seen on the Channel 7 news , Channel 9 News , Channel 10 news and Today Tonight . Richard gives his opinions on Microsoft , Google , Apple and deals with personal computers , smartphones and tablets.

1 comment on “Doing The Census Online Seemed Like A Great Idea At The Time

  1. Stephen Mitchell

    Well said.

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