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Tips and rumours

We’ve always been at war with Gonski. Is Gmail censoring “sensitive” ADF data? Plus other tips and rumours …

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

We’ve always been at war with Gonski. With the removal of the Gonski report from the Commonwealth Department of Education website (search for it and you get an appropriately Soviet-sounding “lenskyi”) also comes an attempt to make life more difficult for anyone wanting to compare education funding levels between different governments. The new Department of Education website has removed Portfolio Budget Statements from before 2008, which makes comparing the relative funding provided by the Howard and Rudd-Gillard governments to education rather harder.

It’s normal for departments to provide PBSs as far back as electronic records go — back to the 1990s, frequently. But some departments are culling their websites. Like Education, Foreign Affairs and Environment have purged PBSs from the Howard era; Attorney-General’s only goes back to 2006 and Communications requires you to go, via the budget.gov.au site, to its archived sites in order to get old PBSs. Way to go with transparency, folks …

John Holland takes a nose dive? We reported yesterday on the demise of aircraft engineering firm John Holland Aviation Services. One insider tells us today it’s no surprise:

It’s indicative of the overall exodus from John Holland. Leighton Holdings are rationalising their businesses given the recent tightening of the market, and those 40 staff are a small slice of the total number of people that have been forced out of that business in the last year. It might be the last we see of the John Holland name.”

Transparency of Holden’s deals. A reader writes curiously:

Very interesting that with all the requests from Holden for funding from the Australian taxpayer that they are preventing their dealers from advertising their cars on websites such as Carsales.com.au. Something about price transparency. Makes you wonder if we should be funding them.”

Well, indeed. But what’s that about price transparency?

Gmail censorship? A Royal Australian Navy veteran who left the service in 1960 tells us he wrote an email to his granddaughters reminiscing about how he joined the navy in 1952. Imagine his surprise when his granddaughters’ Gmail addresses blocked the message, with the stern warning: “This message was blocked because its content presents a potential 552-5.7.0 security issue.”

We’ve looked into it, and 552-5.7.0 is Gmail code for “illegal attachment”. Was it a simple technology mistake, or is Gmail filtering out potentially sensitive navy information? Our tipster says: “The content of my message was simply, I went to the recruitment office and filled some forms.”

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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