Jul 28, 2011

Media’s internet cluelessness is unacceptable and they will die

The NBN was not hacked. The NBN couldn't possibly have been hacked.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

As the news spread yesterday morning that the National Broadband Network had been hacked — allegedly — everybody who actually knows something about data networks and information security was mashing their face into their cornflakes. Repeatedly.

The NBN was not hacked. The NBN couldn’t possibly have been hacked. It was obvious. A few minutes cross-checking by someone with a even half a clue, or asking with such a person, would have confirmed that.

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16 thoughts on “Media’s internet cluelessness is unacceptable and they will die

  1. klewso

    Who was spreading the crap about “the NBN” being hacked – the same media lumpenproletariat with an “Labor NBN axe” to grind?
    As for the ABC, “outsourcing” their news agenda, to “private enterprise” ………?

    But it was lucky, apparently some “Joe Public” rang in to let the “relevant authorities” know this had happened, from where “the chase” was taken up?
    Still if “journo’s” concentrate on the “hacked NBN” bit, they aren’t looking at how this all started?

  2. Gavin Moodie

    The frustrating thing about Radio National PM’s program was that it interviewed someone (Stilgherrian?) who pointed out clearly why the NBN hadn’t been hacked and then afterwards ran an interview with someone claiming the opposite in an obviously flawed statement.

    Is this ABC’s idea of balance, running idiotic comments to balance reasonable ones?

  3. paddy

    In all the BS that was flying around yesterday about the “NBN” being hacked, I was trying (and failing) to find out what exactly the “unemployed, truckdriving superhacker” had done.
    There was some suggestion that he was “allegedly” responsible for the major destruction wreaked on the web hosting company Distribute IT. But you’d be hard put to find it on any local site.
    The UK site “The Register” seemed to have the best summary. Here.

  4. Mr Pajama Pudding

    Many journalists in the MSM seem to be poorly informed philistines who have very little knowledge of scientific or technological issues. Their main skills lies in stirring pots. Their collective fear of the NBN is palpable, particularly those who fear for their jobs in a post-NBN world where most media will be delivered via the internet. And the MSM is easily infected by memes, particularly memes based on hoaxes, spin and disguised marketing. Any opportunity to spread FUD about the NBN is embraced enthusiastically without impartial evaluation or even rudimentary attempts to be properly informed and understand the actual issues.

    This is also reflected within the wider community. Even now, most people have no idea what ADSL actually means. If you mention the word Asynchronous, eyes glaze over immediately.

  5. Linda Hearder

    Wasn’t it only a few days ago Julia said “Don’t write crap – it can’t be that hard.” Obviously that didn’t sink in…

  6. Holden Back

    Assymetrical, Mr Pajama Pudding.

  7. Meski

    Abbott ran with it, good. Anything he can do to look more stupid and ill-informed is all to the good.

  8. michael r james

    [“When almost the entire body of AU media gets my specialty this wrong, I doubt their capacity to get other specialties right,” tweeted ISP network engineer Mark Newton. “Why should I trust what they write about medicine? Law? Agriculture? Politics? Economics? Lost dogs?” he asked.]

    Indeed, you can’t. “Lost dogs”, well I am not happy with the treatment of the Hendra virus dog thing.

    I have often griped that part of this problem is that most in the media are from a liberal-arts background and so what can you expect. But there is also increasingly agenda setting by media, kind of normalized by 5 decades of Murdoch. How can we expect Queenslanders to be any wiser when they only have The Australian and The CM and then find the main headline stories get repeated almost verbatim by the ABC News?

    It is truly awful that the ABC has deteriorated to such an extent. Their investigative programs are still good but most people only take in the news, AM and 7.30, and too often they just get it wrong. An obsession with presenting “both” sides even if there it doesn’t exist. Even ex-Crikey Jonathan Green has IMO wrecked The Drum because there is way too much not just low-quality but dead-misleading stuff, in a vastly inappropriate attempt for “balance”–a strategy pretty much equivalent to the Intelligent Designers argument that their quackery should get equal time alongside teaching of evolution. It has been the opposite of contributing to the public’s understanding of these complex issues.

  9. Simon

    Kind of reminds me of the episode of The IT Crowd when Roy and Moss convince Jen that a black box with a flashing red light on top is the internet and if the light goes out the Internet will be destroyed. She presents this to a room of shareholders who are similarly taken in while Roy and Moss look on astonished that everyone is so naive… same thing here. another WTF moment from the media. well done.

  10. Gumby Roffo

    I’d reckon that 99% of the readers here would feel for you Stilgherrian having spent a large chunk of your time attempting to educating folks with the podcasts and articles. Only to find that this is the collective wisdom of some of those followers in Media positions, or perhaps they just wanted the edge to the story right or wrong. This should make media watch a breeze this week.

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