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Thread: Census 2016 - Can anyone logon?

  1. #1
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Census 2016 - Can anyone logon?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So... it's 9:20pm on Census night and I've spent the last half an hour trying to logon.

    Initially the website census.gov.au was "broke", then I managed to get a connection and a redirection to:
    https://stream10.census.abs.gov.au/e...lcome.jsp#top2

    Clicking on "Complete my Census" returns another window saying:

    Thank you for participating in the Census. The system is very busy at the moment. Please wait for 15 minutes before trying again. Your patience and cooperation are appreciated. [code 9]

    or it falls over with another message:


    This site can’t be reached

    The connection was reset.
    Try:



    ERR_CONNECTION_RESET


    As someone who did a pile of family tree searching in the past, I'm all for the census data and don't mind my details being released in 99 years.

    I'm also happy to fill it in online but how long should I muck about before sending the Australian Bureau of Statistics an invoice for my time?

    Anyone else manage to log on to the site tonight?

  2. #2
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Got in but unable to finalise or save survey, so gave up. Saved earlier so will probably have to redo last bit.
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  3. #3
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    Andy

    I logged on at 6pm. I had a feeling the peak of traffic would be later. I got on straight away and, end-to-end, the whole thing took about 4 minutes to complete. I've now received an email from the ABS: "Thanks for playing your part".

    Scott
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  4. #4
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Did mine at 2.30pm. Took 3 or 4 minutes.
    Didn't want to clutter up my inbox so I just took a screen shot of the receipt.
    Hope you get to bed before midnight, Andy!!
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  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Being "rural" we were delivered a paper version (without us asking) but knowing how much more of our tax dollars will be consumed in processing paper I was keen to do it online.

    Just passed the hour mark and sick of seeing the error screens so yeah, might give it a rest and try again near midnight.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Yep started it about 7.30 and then system wouldn't let me submit it. Now can't get on at all. sigh

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Got on at around 5:00PM Ok and finished up in around 15 minutes...
    Given we've got until mid September to file the data, I guess a few nights one way or the other isn't going to make much difference...

    Mal.
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  8. #8
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    Had no issues @ 5pm on the west coast. Agree with Mal regarding data lodging, first time census has been able to be lodged online. Bound to have issues unfortunately.

  9. #9
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    Blind Freddy could have predicted this. That's why I asked for a paper copy.

  10. #10
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    Also had no problems earlier at around 6 eastern - but saved it instead of submitting just in case the whole thing gets revised from privacy complaints. I would have liked to see explanations on some of the questions as to why such info is needed.

  11. #11
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Blind Freddy could have predicted this. That's why I asked for a paper copy.
    Paper ones were really only for people without an Internet connection.

    I hope you post it back with a $5 note so the rest of us don't have to pay for the manual processing of it.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    I still don't understand why people didn't do it a week ago when they received their code (or called up for a new one). At least now the slackers have an excuse to avoid the fine.

  13. #13
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    don't understand why people didn't do it a week ago
    ...because you are meant to do it on the night of the 9th.
    I didn't know who was going to be at home that night, could have guessed but might have been wrong.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Seeing as due to hacking they shut down the site, it would seem they do have an excuse

  15. #15
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    No excuse - if you ask questions people don't like with scaremongering $180/day fines, you're likely to get hacked.

    Also, it wouldn't be the first organisation to lie to attempt to save face.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Paper ones were really only for people without an Internet connection....
    Or people concerned that the government couldn't ensure 100% uptime of their site....which guess what, they couldn't....

  17. #17
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    Woke up to hear the Census site had been attacked/hacked four times last night. Census website attacked by hackers, ABS claims

    All yesterday the ABS were arrogantly touting how their site has never been hacked and how secure your data is. Like waving a red flag to a bull. Serves them right.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Woke up to hear the Census site had been attacked/hacked four times last night. Census website attacked by hackers, ABS claims

    All yesterday the ABS were arrogantly touting how their site has never been hacked and how secure your data is. Like waving a red flag to a bull. Serves them right.
    You beat me to it. Any organisation that thinks their data is %100 secure is living in the land of lala. At the more extreme end - Ed Snowden ring any bells? Apart from that kind of inside job data hacking is seen as an Olympic Sport to some and when big orgs spruke their data security record the race is on.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Woke up to hear the Census site had been attacked/hacked four times last night. Census website attacked by hackers, ABS claims

    All yesterday the ABS were arrogantly touting how their site has never been hacked and how secure your data is. Like waving a red flag to a bull. Serves them right.
    The claim was DDOS attacks which is what any astute business would claim, as 1) no data is compromised and 2) they are not seen as the business' fault as often they're near impossible to prevent.

    But you don't purposely take your site offline in response to a DDOS attack as ABS claims. That's what effectively the DDOS attack is trying to do. Especially don't take it down for international attacks as ABS claims they were - they're piss easy to mitigate given the nature of the Census being applicable to people only in Australia at the time.

    So I call bullshit. They either didn't predict an extremely predictable load, or are covering up a data compromise. Government org - probably one programming, one holding the slow sign, four holding the monitor and thirty talking to each other.
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  20. #20
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    Haha. In the news comments stream.

    CpahyDhVUAA97TU.jpg
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  21. #21
    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ...because you are meant to do it on the night of the 9th.
    I didn't know who was going to be at home that night, could have guessed but might have been wrong.
    I understand that Andy as some will have people over unexpectedly on the night or be elsewhere etc and therefore need to lodge their details at another address.

    My comment was aimed at those who have a more predictable schedule week to week, they could have lodged early with the information being accurate to reflect permanent residents at their address, and disregarded the actual census date as being important (all the data will be entered as being relevant to the census date), anyone in that situation could have avoided the silly census headache.

  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep, easy for those of us who rarely get out and about...

    Mal.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member gonzo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Yep, easy for those of us who rarely get out and about...

    Mal.
    Working two jobs I am just about always out but rarely for a social event or have anyone over during the week. Free time is precious roasting time and other leisurely activities My mate at the ABS has been whinging to me all day about the whole event and I found it rather funny after his preachings about the capacity of the infrastructure.
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  24. #24
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    Lies, lies and more lies.

    1.jpg2.jpg

  25. #25
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Well, you know what is often said...

    "Lies, damned lies, and then there's statistics." The ABS in our case...

    Mal.
    Last edited by Dimal; 10th August 2016 at 10:10 PM.
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  26. #26
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  27. #27
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    Interesting to hear the ABS claims they did block international traffic from about 10am after noticing small DDOS attacks from overseas.

    Yet I successfully accessed it at 6pm via a VPN in The Netherlands.

    Maybe the international attacks were just others in Australia legitimately doing the census but hiding their IP address.
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  28. #28
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    I also read that $500,000 was paid to the IT company for load testing, to which they load tested it to 250 submissions per second. 15 million online Censi expected, 250 per second would take 17 hours. I bet most however aimed to do their Census on the advertised Census night in the hours between 6 and 10pm. Not sure if multiple people in a single residence counts as one submission or multiple, but still, that's a tough ask.
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  29. #29
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    Small DDoS from overseas?

    That's probably our Olympic team in RIO trying to participate
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  30. #30
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    ABS claims census site back on after 48hrs but people finding it's still down. Census back online nearly 48 hours after census outage

    Why does ABS couldn't organise a piss up at a brewery come to mind....

  31. #31
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonko View Post
    Not sure if multiple people in a single residence counts as one submission or multiple, but still, that's a tough ask.
    I'll let you know when and if I can log on and do it......
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  32. #32
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    I did ring them about a week ago, concerned that I would be privy to some guests' personal info that I had staying that night (and vice versa) and they said each could do it online in privacy under the same login code.

    Not sure how they handle the 'per household' questions in that case.

  33. #33
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    This is probably a bit 'stale' by now, but a few comments anyhow.
    I logged on at 4.00pm on the Tues arvo and it took me about 20 mins to complete the Census.
    I phoned the local Member the previous arvo however as my Mum lives in a Retirement Village and none of the residents had received a 'letter' with a 'login' as the ABS had decided that it was an "Aged Peoples Home" (which it is not) and that the Manager of the "Home" could organise all the returns - a task that she is very definitely NOT paid nor empowered to do. (She did it anyhow because she is a good person).
    The whole thing seems like a shambles to me and needs to be re-thought.
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  34. #34
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    Absolute cluster*uck.

    Could have been prevented by:
    - Advertising people had a month to submit replies
    - Different implementation strategy (eg app/software download, enter data, auto upload when server free)
    - Not boasting how secure their system was
    - Employing competent people

    Or using paper and pen

  35. #35
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    Eh, paid $9.6m to IBM for it, which means the original bid was probably $6m (based on some years experience with large-scale enterprise IT), which in terms of systems of this size is stupid cheap, so the magic words here are "low bidder".

    That the ASD is investigating the attacks which if they existed weren't sufficient to actually register on global attack maps, is frankly a joke, I can see the headlines now;
    "ASD Finds: Census DDoS attack originated inside the country" and was "cunningly disguised as legitimate users attempting to lodge their Census"
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  36. #36
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    So... August 16th at 9:45pm (one week late to the day) and I've just finished it.

    It was quick (took roughly 25 minutes for the household of 5), painless and yeah, I ticked the "let everyone access it in 99 years" option for all 5 of us which should help some future relatives doing family history research one day.

    I like the online version. Most of the questions were contextual and were based on the previous answers, which is far better than the paper version and of course there is the tax money savings of not making someone scan and/or manually read the OCR read errors along with the postage and shredding costs. It would be interesting to know how much a paper census actually costs us to process... I'm sure the Australian Bureau of Stats could tell us when the dust settles .

    As mentioned, most questions were contextual but it did ask the marital status of my 11 year old daughter (which gave her a laugh).
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  37. #37
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    I never trust the first model of anything, simply not possible to test everything, second generation always a lot better.

    I'm sure next time it run a lot better. Then the cynics like me will do it electronically. That said, I bet a lot more will ask for a paper copy, once bitten...

  38. #38
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Yes F-Frog,
    you clearly established early in this thread that you were happy to waste tax money while wearing your tin-foil hat and saying "the end in nigh"... we get it, we do, and I'm sure the Census officer laughed when you asked for the stone tablet and chisel.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ...I'm sure the Census officer laughed when you asked for the stone tablet and chisel.
    Always happy to liven up someone's day though he's probably not laughing so hard now.
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  40. #40
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    No, he is probably worn out from smashing up your stone tablet and in trouble because he stuffed the shredder with it.
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