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Australians go back online to complete census


Hundreds of thousands of Australians have gone back to complete the census online after its website was restored with extra protections to repel cyber-attacks.

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Census fail

The Australian Bureau of Statistics site was operating again yesterday afternoon following a disastrous take-down on Tuesday night.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne appeared to confirm the source of so-called denial-of-service attacks.

“Obviously it was disrupted on Tuesday night by elements here in Australia but that doesn’t mean that anybody’s privacy has been breached,” he told the Nine Network today.

But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann would not pre-empt the findings of a review being undertaken by the Prime Minister’s cyber-security adviser, Alastair MacGibbon.

Pyne, who was travelling on Tuesday night when the system was taken offline due to cyber-attacks, prefers to fill out the national survey the old-fashioned way.

“I like to sit down and think about it,” he said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison completed his form online “hassle-free” last night.

“You can expect the Government to so thoroughly look into this to understand where the ultimate system failure occurred,” he told ABC radio.

If there were issues with contractor IBM, people could expect the Government to pursue it to the “nth degree”.

An angry Prime Minister has indicated heads will roll, but whose is still to be determined.

Labor believes the Government should accept responsibility.

“It’s the Government who said it was all going well,” frontbencher Anthony Albanese said.

“It is the Government that have tried to pass the buck since then. The Government’s heads are the heads that should roll here.”

Chief statistician David Kalisch conceded the events of Tuesday night were embarrassing for the ABS but he was focused on delivering a high-quality census.

“As a public servant I do continue to take responsibility for our work and our decisions,” he said.

Australians have until September 23 to fill out the online form and until September 18 to return paper versions.


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