Thursday, 11 August 2016 12:46

Census 2016: Turnbull says 'heads will roll' Featured


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has threatened that "heads will roll" in the wake of the census debacle on Tuesday night, which has resulted in the population count still being incomplete.

Turnbull made the statement while speaking to the radio host Alan Jones on Thursday morning. "My prediction is that there will be some very serious consequences to this," he added. (Full interview is embedded below.)

The census site went down on Tuesday night, is still down and there is no indication when it will be back online. IBM was awarded a contract for $9.6 million in 2014 to run the show. It has earned considerable flak over the debacle.

In response to questions from Jones, Turnbull said a denial of service attack — which is what is claimed to have precipitated the meltdown — had led to the shutdown of the site. He said there had been no intrusion by hackers.

"There are clearly very big issues for IBM (the company running the show) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics," Turnbull said.

He said the site should be back up later on Thursday, pointing out that he had conferred with the Australian Signals Directorate and his colleagues who had some involvement with the census.

Turnbull said the DoS attacks were predictable and should have been dealt with, adding that there issues for both IBM and the ABS to answer on this front.

"There is no doubt there were serious failures in the system's preparation" for the census, he said.

Turnbull added that his calm demeanour on the programme hid the fact that he was extremely angry about what had happened. He promised that an inquiry would be held to find out what exactly had happened.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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