In the new Policy Forum Pod, three experts discuss the concerns around the Australian Census, how the data is used by researchers, and why the census website went offline on its big night.

The 2016 Australian census is shaping up to be the biggest political and policy bungle of the year. In a new Policy Forum Pod, three experts provide analysis of what went wrong.

At 7.30pm, on the night of 9 August, as the government was urging people to login and complete the census online, the website specifically designed to collect data directly from Australia’s 24 million strong population, was taken offline following a series of what is being called denial of service incidents.

These incidents, caused by parties as yet unknown, involved the routing of huge volumes of data through servers in the US to essentially crash the website.

The incident has become a source of acute embarrassment for the agency responsible for delivering the census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and by extension the Australian Government. It has generated widespread concern, not to mention inconvenience, for pretty much the entire Australian population, and raises serious questions about trust, privacy and the cybersecurity of government agencies.

In the new Policy Forum Pod three leading experts discuss what went wrong, why, and the implications going forward:

QUT’s Dr Cassandra Cross, formerly of the Queensland Police Force, and an authority on cybercrime and online fraud.

The Australian National University’s Dr Liz Allen, a highly skilled demographer and social researcher, who has been at the forefront of the debate surrounding the 2016 Census.

The National Security College’s cyber security expert Michelle Price who was involved in the development and delivery of the Government’s Cyber Security strategy.

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