The Australian FUDs It Again

There’s been a lot of rumbling, particularly since the 2010 Federal Election, in regards to a perceived media bias against the Australian Labor Party and its policies, particularly from Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited newspapers – most notably The Australian, our “national” paper.

For me, their ongoing campaign, especially in the light of the News Of The World phone hacking scandal, reeks more and more of petty attacks on the ALP, all the time.

For the record, I am certainly not a fan of Labor governments – I have never voted Labor in my life. As an IT professional who believes in the power of technology and the promise of a connected world, I am however – (as regular readers would know) – a supporter of their National Broadband Network (NBN) policy.

Which is why the following headline out of The Australian IT RSS feed caught my attention this morning:

Go ahead. Read the story. A story that has nothing at all to do with the NBN, but the editorial staff at The Australian decided to create the vaguest of completely vague links to a project they have long been critical of.

This is how it appeared in the RSS feed:

Disturbingly, notice here that the article is titled: “Truckie Arrested After Hacking Into NBN”?

A different title.

Being from the RSS feed, this is how many people would have found the article in their newsreaders this morning. Completely inaccurate, but they did move it along a little bit though:

“The man was last night charged with 50 offences after he allegedly hacked into Platform Network, one of the 12 service providers selected to roll out trials of the $36 billion NBN.”

As NBN Co themselves have stated since this report emerged:

“NBN Co has evaluated its systems and controls and can confirm the national broadband network was not affected by this incident.”

And quoting from the article:

“In June, Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigators found a compromise to Platform Networks, a wholesale internet provider in Sydney that is one of the contracted providers of the NBN release. NBN Co says it is not yet providing it services to the NBN.”

Interestingly, Platform Networks had the affected systems sandboxed away from their main network when they became aware of the attacks.

So the real story is that a guy, probably using off-the-shelf open source downloadable hacking tools, hacked an ISP in December 2010, long before that ISP had signed any kind of agreement with NBN Co, let alone had any services with them – (and still don’t) – and who spotted the problem and isolated the part of their network that was affected.

And the best The Australian can do is: “Truckie Arrested for Hacking NBN”? Yet another cheap shot against the policy, and the government.

Stop trying to make news, and actually report the news. Ironic that you are called “News Limited” – since your ability to report “news” seems rather “limited” at times.

Lift your game guys – everyone is watching after the News of the World debacle, so why act like tools now? Oh, yeah – you want to bring the government down.

Well, you fail. And you will be called out on it.