Cyber-safety panic button cost $73k

Summary:It cost the Federal Government $73,000 to have a red-coloured software-based button developed to protect children when they are being cyber-bullied.

It cost the Federal Government $73,000 to have a red-coloured software-based button developed to protect children when they are being cyber-bullied.

And that's only the "first phase", according to a statement issued to ZDNet Australia from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE).

Remix

Stephen Conroy
(Credit: Sony)

The button was launched Tuesday last week at the 2010 Cyber-Safety and Youth Advisory Group (YAG) Summit in Canberra by Communications Minster Stephen Conroy.

Senator Conroy said the new button would provide internet users, particularly children and their parents, "easy access to relevant cyber-safety information and assistance".

The $73,000 figure is not far from the $100,000 it was rumoured to have cost before its release, which was outed on broadband forum Whirlpool by user cmdwedge.

According to cmdwedge, eight software programmers were working on the button.

The department said it had contracted Saltbush Development — which provides ICT, security, testing and training services — to create the button.

The $73,000, according to the department, included compatibility testing across operating systems, which would largely take place in July, when the button is likely to launch.

"It will sit on the desktop and will come with an auto update facility and some capacity for desktop configuration to make it more functional to users," the department said.

The button has attracted ridicule from some, causing them to change their Twitter profile image to a large red button. However, that ridicule wasn't restricted to Twitter.

"I sure hope this is an April fool's joke from someone that turned their calendar the wrong way," said Whirlpool user tin, before the button was launched.

Topics: Government : AU

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