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Census Fail: Aust Just Can’t Handle It

Well done, Australia!!

For the last week or two, the Australian Government has been nagging all the Aussie minions about their ‘patriotic duty’ to participate in the National Census on 9 August 2016 (which is tonight – at the time of writing).

That was the first line of BS – it is not patriotic; it is compulsory.

I’m fine with the whole census thing. I see the benefit of the census and consider it a good thing. The data from the census goes towards a good number of things. Yes, yes, yes – it is primarily used by a handful of policy makers and a bunch of civil engineers and local councils. But without the census, those poor minions would simply tick the welfare box on Census Night.

Seriously, census stats are used for determining a range of things: school zones; park development; large building approvals. Yes, it may feel like only policy makers and academic read the damn things, but they are the harbingers of change in our society.

Geez, I sound extremely naive about the romanticised nature of our society. Quick, dose me up with some Stephen Colbert

And that was for the United States of America in 2013. How dare we expect Australia to have caught up three years later?

I mean, c’mon. They spent all this time and money on organising the Census to be electronic. YAY! Digital evolution!!

Oh wait, you haven’t submitted your census details yet? Well, why not?

WHAT?!? The website has CRASHED?!?


But surely not! The Aust Govt told us it wouldn’t crash!! They promised us the smooth path of enlightenment into the digital world of the future!!


The good news is that this is a nation-wide documented event. You’re pretty safe from being fined if the census data is late.

Of course, there are some who are considering not submitting it at all. At last count, Senator Nick Xenophon, Senator Jacqui Lambie, and five other Green Senators have all said “No thanks” due to concerns regarding privacy and security. We even have a former deputy privacy commissioner, Anna Johnston, boycotting the event.

The problem with this is not everyone can rally the financial support to take on the ABS with this protest. Once they figure out you boycotted, they can start fining you $180 per day for withholding information. This kind of limits the protest vote to those with enough Klout (you can find my FundMe website … Nah, too lazy).

And while some may parry with “The Census is no different to Facebook” – please note the biggest difference of all:

Facebook is elective. If you don’t like the privacy settings, you don’t have to participate. The Census is a “patriotic duty”, remember?

I’ll be honest – I am really torn on this one. As a social antagonist (read: hobby sociologist), I love census and all the stupid it collates. But on the other hand, I have heard reports of the ABS being violated electronically up to 14 times in the last three years. I’m not sure if I want my personal details (including MY NAME) associated with that sort of behaviour.

I have a reputation to uphold. 😛


Soooo… will you “census”?
UPDATE: Apprently the Census site did not crash, it was hacked – 4 times!!

ABC News is following up on the statement from ABS. I would not want to be an ABS employee today. Or any day really.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Turns out it was just DDoS, or a bunch load of people accessing the site all at the same time…

So why did they release a statement saying “hack attack” to begin with? And is IBM going to do its job now? 

Categories: Taking Over the World

Tagged as:

Evil Genius Mum

Evil Genius Mum
- Taking over the world, one blog post at a time

3 replies

  1. I would happily participate in the census, but I am staying in an apartment on a work trip this week and I have not been provided with a census form or login number. There was sign in the lift saying census people had permission to enter our secure building in order to poke them under the door. But nothing turned up. I emailed them yesterday through their website to ask for one but no-one’s gotten back to me yet… guess I’ll be filling it out late?


    1. Oh yeah, and if you have any queries about privacy and security, you also have to call up about that. I can see that new 23 Sept cut-off date being pushed out even further… You might even have time to fit in a few more work trips before submitting!


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