[Linux-aus] Grant request: Contribution to Senate voting source code FOI request review.

Daniel Jitnah djitnah at greenwareit.com.au
Mon Jun 23 17:54:53 EST 2014

If all fails, there is an underlying outcome here, that is to raise
awareness and create discussions on the inappropriateness of using a
proprietary software systems for a voting system.

There is no doubt in my mind that any voting system can only be Open
Source.  Its the only way to guarantee accountability and traceability
of votes in an electronic/software voting system.

If this initiative gets traction, it can have important and wide ranging
implications in many aspects of democracy and gov. accountability etc.
So I think it is better to give it the chance to progress and evolve - I
don't think anyone will regret that LA and all the other financial
supporters have been backing this, (unless one has a vested interest in
not making the code open!!)

I agree though a clearer statement of intentions and purpose will
certainly give more credence to this.

One thing though I assume that if/when the code is made available, it
wont be made so with a non-disclosure agreement.  That would be pointless.


On 23/06/14 17:26, Bret Busby wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, James Polley wrote:
>> Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13:14:24
>> From: James Polley <jamezpolley at gmail.com>
>> To: Chris Neugebauer <chrisjrn at gmail.com>
>> Cc: council <council at linux.org.au>,
>>     Linux Australia <linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au>
>> Subject: Re: [Linux-aus] Grant request: Contribution to Senate voting source
>>     code FOI request review.
>> I support this application, so much so that I've thrown some of my own money towards the cause as well.
>>> On 23 Jun 2014, at 11:56, Chris Neugebauer <chrisjrn at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hey all,
>>> One of our members, Michael Cordover, has been going through the
>>> Freedom of Information process to gain access to the source code used
>>> by the Australian Electoral Commision to tally Senate votes in
>>> Australian federal elections.
>>> Michael's process, including all correspondence with the AEC, has been
>>> thoroughly documented here at [0].
>>> The AEC declined the FOI request, and Michael is currently seeking
>>> appeal through the administrative appeals tribunal, as the free review
>>> process was performed by the OAIC, a body being disbanded through the
>>> 2014-15 federal budget process.
>>> The appeal requires a lodgement fee of some $850. Michael is in the
>>> process of crowd funding this request [1].
>>> Whilst I'm not a lawyer, I've been following the process quite closely
>>> since it started, and have been deeply bemused by the AEC's arguments,
>>> which I personally feel are either technically flawed or absurd.
>>> I believe that the goal of the FOI request, and associated review, is
>>> well in line with Linux Australia's values [2], in particular, that of
>>> "Freedom", which explicitly states:
>>> "We value free access to, sharing of and repurposing of information,
>>> in particular that information held by the public sector."
>>> I'd like to request that, as a showing of support, Linux Australia
>>> make a small contribution, not exceeding $150 to the crowdfunding
>>> campaign.
>>> --Chris
> What is the purpose of the application?
> Is it to simply challenge the methodology of the AEC in counting senate 
> votes?
> If so, is that an appropriate action for the involvement of Linux 
> Australia?
> Is the purpose of the application, to lead to a challenge to the 
> appropriateness of the method of selection of members of the senate, by 
> such a bodgy system that prewvents democratic elevction of membvers of 
> the parliament?
> If so, is that an appropraite action for the involvement of Linux 
> Australia?
> I believe that, if not for the general apathy that prevails, all pof the 
> Australian electorate should challenge the unrepresentative swill that 
> is the senate, and, the lack of democratic election of that particular 
> bunch of freeloaders that have no useful purpose.
> If the purpose of the application, is to seek to obtain a copy of the 
> source code, so that a version could be ported to a Linux platform, such 
> a statement appears to be conspicuous by its absence, from the preceding 
> messages in the thread, and, I believe that that particular statement of 
> purpose, should be the only justification for the involvement of Linux 
> Australia.
> For individual people to rebel against , and, to start a campaign to 
> rebel against, the bodgy system of parliament, and, the bodgy selection 
> of members of the parliament, and, to seek to replace the bodgy system, 
> with a democratic parliament that is democratically elected, is 
> definitely needed (if the general apathy of the Australian public, could 
> be overcome), but, that is surely not the purpose of Linux Australia, 
> and, in the absence of a statement explicitly stating the purpose of the 
> application to be solely for the purpose of seeking to create a port to 
> a Linux platform, whilst the cause may be justified in its own right, 
> surely, it is not an appropriate cause for the involvement of Linux 
> Australia.
> --
> Bret Busby
> Armadale
> West Australia
> ..............
> "So once you do know what the question actually is,
>   you'll know what the answer means."
> - Deep Thought,
>    Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
>    "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
>    A Trilogy In Four Parts",
>    written by Douglas Adams,
>    published by Pan Books, 1992
> ....................................................
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