Code=Law

Topics discussing when software code acts as a form of policy, what Lawrence Lessig , author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace would call (US) "East-coast-code meets West-coast-code".

ATIP request for Homeless Individuals and Families. Information System (HIFIS) software

I made an Access to Information request from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for the software they are using for the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System.

Documentation and software source code for the Homeless Individuals and Families. Information System (HIFIS). As this software is authored by the Government of Canada, and software is defined as a literary work by the Copyright act, this information should be as accessible to Canadians as any other literary works created by the Government of Canada.

Reply to Access to Information request about Software/Business model patents now online

The reply to my Access to Information Request (ATIP) is now online. We still need to run the pages through OCR software to make it more useful, and then to write articles to try to expose this controversial policy being manipulated by extreme special interests (primarily legal practitioners who stand to economically benefit from the changes).

Crossing Boundaries: Interactions between software code and legal code...

I was invited to participate in meetings in Ottawa for Crossing Boundaries, but unfortunately I am booked. I submitted an article to their BBS which is my input.

Was this possibly larger mismanagement issue in chapter 1 (of the Auditor General's Report) noticed by the media or parliamentarians? Not at all. We have all heard the phrase "to err is human, to really fowl things up requires a computer". This is the nature of the interaction between public policy and computer code: far too few policy makers have taken the time to understand computer code well enough to make adequate decisions, and these failures pile up one on top of the other.

The Future is Open: What OpenDocument Is and Why You Should Care

This GrokLaw article primarily by Daniel Carrera includes:

Executive summary

Quiz: Complete the sentence,"OpenDocument is ..."

(a) An open, XML-based file format.
(b) An open standard, supported by the OASIS and ISO standards groups.
(c)The default file format for the upcoming OpenOffice.org 2.0 and KOffice 1.4.
(d) A top prospect for an official format for the European Commission.
(e) Our best chance to fight vendor lock-in associated with proprietary formats.
(f) All of the above.

Penguin Day SpeedGeek: Code is Law

The SpeedGeek at PenguinDay Toronto. I added links to my speaking notes and the larger Code is Law article to the PenguinDay WIKI.

eWeek: GPL 3 to Take on IP, Patents

This article by Peter Galli includes:

"[[Trust is] a critical point and extends well beyond the IT industry," said Zymaris. "We, as IT professionals, must act as stewards for the coming century, which, more than any previous era, will be built atop information technology. If we want a free society in the future, we must prevent any organization or collective from attaining such a level of immense control over the platforms of the future."

Code is Law article

This article seeks to explain how software code acts like a form of law.

... where other people saw legitimate business models or methods for creating software for protecting copyright (so-called Digital Rights Management or DRM), e-Government, e-Voting or direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems, I saw forms of political corruption. In all of these cases there are far more important policy considerations than the lesser concerns that policy makers have thus far concerned themselves with.

The Rise of Open-Source Politics

It is always interesting to see people try to extend the concept of Open Source outside of software to other aspects of our lives, sometimes getting it right and sometimes not. This is an article in The Nation by Micah L. Sifry that talks about more open politics. Article was found on SlashDot.

Complaints, questions about US voting procedures undermine America's credibility as a model for the world.

This Straight Goods article by Penney Kome includes:

Take Palm Beach County in Florida, for example. Only 454,427 voters turned out for the election, including absentee voters, but 542,835 ballots were cast for a presidential candidate - a discrepancy of 88,408 extra votes cast for the presidential candidates.

See my reply...

Also an ongoing thread at Sla

Avi Rubin: Undetectable election fraud was...undetected...

This report by Avi Rubin, Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University, includes:

The media was setting up the election as potentially marred by e-voting. There was a problem with this. The biggest threat posed by the current crop of electronic voting machines is a software problem, either malicious or due to an unintentional bug, that affects the outcome of the election in an undetectable way. The media, however, focus on detectable problems.

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