Draft Letter on E-Voting

8th April, 2004

This is a draft letter opposing the use of non-free software in the proposed Irish Electronic Voting system. I mentioned this on the fsfe-ie mailing list a month ago and started a classic spiraling flame war. Anyhoo...

This is the second draft, with some additions as suggested on the fsfe-ie mailing-list by Éibhear.

Obviously the names and addresses are fake at the moment. The letter is mostly targeted at the opposition, giving them another choice argument, so to speak. It could be changed to make it applicable to others, though. Some people have told me they thought the tone was a bit strong, most think its just strong enough. I also hope there's no residual techie-ness that I'm not catching, I want it to be fully comprehensible to a non-technical reader.

I haven't mentioned the vital paper-trail issue, or any other group. I agree with Ciaran that "we'd have to be careful not to push [the paper audit trail issue] out of politicians' heads", while, as Aidan said, being "limited to promoting the values and use of Free Software in the system". I haven't found a good wording for it yet.

Anyway, comments and suggestions are welcome. Remember to flame me privately, or better yet, take the pointless flame wars to Slashdot where they belong.

In fact IRC might be the better location for a discussion, if we can ever get it together to all be on #fs-ie at the same time. Perhaps we could agree something like a regular time on the mailing list.

P.S. You might notice the suggested IFSO letterhead. Just a mad notion of mine; none of this is official until the group says so. Aesthetic concerns on IRC only please.

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Copyright © Cathal Mc Ginley 2004