Aussie Police Have Weird Web Primates

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

Sometimes I bump into something on the web that makes me wonder…. Like the news bulletin posted here: MAN ARRESTED AFTER SUSPICIOUS DEATH – CROWS NEST. We used to have the occasional gelato at that bar, it was just up the road from our home in Wollstonecraft. I suspect the guy, now dead, even served us our gelato sometimes. Sounds like there is a story behind that murder “It is believed the victim and alleged offender are known to each other.”, the alleged offender was found nearby clutching a knife.

But just look at that URL:

(Additional line-breaks/white-space my own of course.)
Sorry I had to subject you to that… sq_content_src? Equals something that looks like base64? (Note “%3D” is a URI encoded “=”.) Hrm:

$ echo 'aHR0cDovL2N1c3RvbXNjcmlwdHMucG9saWNlLm5zdy5nb3YuYXUvbmV3cy9kZXRh
aWxzX21lZGlhLnBocD9NZWRpYUlEPTg0MTk=' | openssl base64 -d

If you visit the URI you get basic HTML for the news story, which is dumped verbatim into the page at the link above (i.e. including , etc).

I guess they want to make sure the input URI can’t stuff up the site URI? But we do have URI encoding designed for this very purpose, in fact they even use it for the “=”! Or maybe they want to hide the content URI? I can’t see why, and if this is the reason they chose a pretty dumb method.

It turns out that they’re not too dumb, a basic attempt at getting them to show content from another website failed. Bummer, this entry would have been so much more fun otherwise (and being arrested upon arrival in Australia would have been good too!). It is probably best not to poke police websites too much, personal experience (police questioning and a court appearance as a witness when a friend was being put through the judicial wringer) has taught me that the NSW police wouldn’t know what an Internet was if it bit them on the arse. In fact, such knowledge is considered highly suspicious, virtual proof of criminal tendencies.