Entries Tagged "Australia"

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Australian Porn Filter Cracked

The headline is all you need to know:

Teen cracks AU$84 million porn filter in 30 minutes

(AU$84 million is $69.5 million U.S.; that’s real money.)

Remember that the issue isn’t that one smart kid can circumvent the censorship software, it’s that one smart kid — maybe this one, maybe another one — can write a piece of shareware that allows everyone to circumvent the censorship software.

It’s the same with DRM; technical measures just aren’t going to work.

Posted on August 30, 2007 at 12:50 PMView Comments

Mobile Phones Disabled When President Bush Visits Sydney

In an effort to prevent terrorism, parts of the mobile phone network will be disabled when President Bush visits Australia. I’ve written about this kind of thing before; it’s a perfect example of security theater: a countermeasure that works if you happen to guess the specific details of the plot correctly, and completely useless otherwise.

On the plus side, it’s only a small area that’s blocked:

It is expected mobile phone calls will drop out in an area the size of a football field as the helicopter passes overhead.

EDITED TO ADD (5/19): Slashdot thread.

EDITED TO ADD (5/20): The Register article.

Posted on May 16, 2007 at 1:55 PMView Comments

Stink Bombs As Terrorist Tools

Two teenage boys detonated a stink bomb on a Sydney commuter train, and prompted a counter-terrorism response.

Best quote:

“It would have been terrifying. You’re on a train, you hear a loud bang, the logical conclusion that people drew was (that it was) probably a terrorist attack,” Mr Owens told reporters.

I agree that it was the conclusion that people drew, but not that it was a logical conclusion.

Posted on May 7, 2007 at 7:15 AMView Comments

How Australian Authorities Respond to Potential Terrorists

Watch the video of how the Australian authorities react when someone — dressed either as an American or Arab tourist — films the Sydney Harbor Bridge and a nuclear reactor.

The synopsis: The Arab is intercepted within three minutes both times, while the U.S. tourist is given instructions on how to get inside the nuclear facility.

Moral for terrorists: dress like an American.

By the way, Lucas Heights is a research reactor. It produces medical isotopes and performs research, and doesn’t produce power.

Posted on April 24, 2007 at 7:12 AMView Comments

Sky Marshals in Australia

Their cost-effectiveness is being debated:

They’ve cost the taxpayer $106 million so far, they travel in business class, and over the past four years Australia’s armed air marshals have had to act only once — subduing a 68-year-old man who produced a small knife on a flight from Sydney to Cairns in 2003.

I have not seen any similar cost analysis from the United States.

Posted on March 8, 2007 at 7:37 AMView Comments

Fraudulent Australian Census Takers

In Australia, criminals are posing as census takers and harvesting personal data for fraudulent purposes.

EDITED TO ADD (8/21): I didn’t notice that this link is from 2001. Sorry about missing that, but it actually makes the story more interesting. This is the sort of identity-theft tactic that I would have expected to see this year, as criminals have gotten more and more sophisticated. It surprises me that they were doing this five years ago as well.

Posted on August 21, 2006 at 6:24 AMView Comments

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.