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

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Tue Jun 24 16:45:48 EST 2014

On Tue, 24 Jun 2014, Benno Rice wrote:

> On 24 Jun 2014, at 2:51 am, Bret Busby <bret at busby.net> wrote:
> [snip]
>> Oh, and, one thing that people should bear in mind.
>> Despite what some believe, Australia does not have "freedom of speech",
>> especially when it comes to the surreptitious workings of the electoral
>> system.
>> And, apart from that, the workings of the AEC, are not open to public
>> scrutiny.
>> Some of you may remember, some years ago, a person attempted to reveal
>> to the people of Australia, how they could fill out a ballot form, if
>> they wanted to cast their votes for only the candidates for whom they
>> wanted to vote, and still cast valid votes (the system requires people
>> to vote for people for whom they do not want to vote, in order to cast a
>> valid vote), and, for his trying to make the voting process, open and
>> accountable, and, to informm people how they could achieve voting for
>> only the candidates for whom they wanted to vote, was sent to prison.
>> And, after he had revealed how people cpould vote for only the
>> candidates for whom they wanted to vote, apart from that person being
>> sent to prison, to gag him, the law was changed, to prevent people from
>> voting for only the candidates for whom they wanted to vote.
>> So, if the FOI application is pursued, beware of an unexpected knock on
>> the door - it could be the NSA, about to disappear you (and, to
>> disappear the Linux Australia committee, if it provides assistance).
>> It may be safer, to concentrate on the cause of Linux, apart from the
>> aspect of whether that should be the limit of the objective(s) of Linux
>> Australia.
> Oh please.
> Allowing the citizens of a country to see the process by which their votes are counted is just a _tiny_ bit different to encouraging them not to vote, or to vote informally. Mr. Cordover is pursuing a completely legal Freedom of Information request through the appropriate appeals process. I suspect that if the Shadowy Powers that Be are going to cause trouble here they’ll just ensure that the appeal fails rather than disappearing anyone.
> I mean wow, anyone’d think you were trying to bolster a rather marginal argument by invoking the NSA as some kind of bugbear!
> For anyone who wants the background of what Mr. Busby’s on about, I refer you to:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Langer

Langer did not try to encourage people not to vote, or, to encourage 
them to cast invalid votes.

He merely tried to inform people as to how they could cast legal and 
valid votes for only the candidate(s) for whom they wanted to vote, 
instead of having to vote for candidates for whom they did not want to 

And so the lawmakers acted to prevent people from voting for only the 
candidates for whom they wanted to vote.

As for the NSA and its involvement in Australia, at

Documents from the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) reveal 
new details outlining how Australia asked them for help to spy on 
Australian citizens.
The document is included in a book by Glenn Greenwald, one of three 
journalists to whom whistleblower Edward Snowden gave a huge trove of 
secret intelligence documents.
Mr Greenwald says that while there is a case for legitimate state 
surveillance, the request from Canberra lacked specific targets.
"The problem is, and if you look at the letter ... they're not asking 
for very specific individuals to be surveilled. They're asking for a 
wide surveillance net to be cast over the Australian communications 
system," he said.

"Historically, whenever you allow government officials to engage in mass 
surveillance ... the abuse is virtually inevitable.

"I think it would be a much different story if the letter [was] saying 
'Here are 35 people we're concerned about and we'd like you to help us 
watch them'.

"But that's not what the letter was. It was asking for, more or less, 
indiscriminate surveillance on Australians generally."
"They literally want to store and gather and ... monitor and analyse all 
forms of human communication that take place electronically," he said.

"If the Government is going to do something that profoundly significant, 
we ought to know about it and be able to debate it."


So, to what extent is the NSA really involved in "goings on" in 

Does anyone really know?

"Just because some may be paranoid, does not mean that others are not 
out to get them"


Big Brother IS watching, and, listening, and, recording, and, is 
not controlled and is not accountable...

So, given what was done to Albert Langer, for trying to scrutinise the 
"goings on" of the AEC, and, for trying to reveal truth to the public, 
and, for trying to bring democracy into the "elections", people should 
probably be wary of trying to access Secret AEC Business.

I believe that the NSA was not yet involved in operations in Australia, 
when the Albert Langer affair, occurred.

Bret Busby
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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