Well it had to happen, the much vaunted Australian Federal Government supplied family internet filter has failed its first test. According to the Age, a sixteen year old former cyber-bullying victim has taken 30 minutes to crack the filter. He has managed to keep all the toolbars etc associated with the filter such that to all intents and purposes it is working even though it is not operating. (Note this is cracking the filter and NOT employing proxy diverts to get around the filter which is just as easy.) The minister has said that the government anticipated that children would find their way around the filters and she is now contacting the supplier to develop updates. I would love to be on the end of that Help Desk for sure.
Lest it be thought that I have a political agenda here it should be noted that the opposition’s policy on filters etc is arguable more detrimental and as likely to fail as they are wishing to put filters at the ISP level which according to most pundits should have the effect of slowing down the whole browsing experience and inadvertently restricting access to a whole range of consumers. Fine in theory abysmal in practice. Hmmm.
And on the score of political blushes it would appear that governments on both sides of the political divide both here and overseas have been caught out manipulating Wikipedia articles associated with personnel and governmental decisions. A relatively new entrant to the Wikipedia associated add-ons enables, Wikiscanner enables you to check out who has been making the edits on Wikipedia. Mashable has a great summary of what the tool can do.
In the Australian context, The Age reveals how just a few of the good folks in the Federal and NSW State governernment associated instrumentalities have been whiling away their time assisting the public to know the “truth” about recent history.
Quite apart from the funny side of seeing how politicians and their minders are struggling to adapt to this age of public generated meaning, this makes you appreciate even more the need to be aware of the digital footprints we are all leaving around in our daily lives. Though the number and complexity of these trails is increasing daily, so to is the capability to track, cross reference and identify the who, what, where and when of our every movement. What was that about privacy?
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