[Talk] Policy Makers' Positions

Sam Stainsby sam at stainsby.id.au
Fri Dec 19 23:07:26 EST 2003

Hi David and others,

I'm the IT policy liaison for the Queensland Greens. I also run my own
open source project on SourceForge, lecture in software engineering, and
run a new multidisciplinary interest group in "Ethics and IT" at
Queensland University of Technology. I've been in AUUG since the Sydney
conference but I've only just managed to struggle onto this list.

Some questions that you could ask:

Q. Is there room for ethical considerations when procuring software at
the federal level. Currently, it seems that its all done according to
their "fitness for purpose - value for money" mantra. Is the public
ready to mandate that companies with poor ethical records (or dare I say
criminal convictions) should be given reduced consideration when
purchasing IT goods and services. [this is my favourite topic at the

Q. Do you think that open source software development is more conducive
to ethical development practices.

Q. What is your stance on electronic voting and open source software? 
[That will explore the idea that security is better achieved through
openness rather than obscurity - and that open source is the ideal way
to achieve this - the whole idea that having many eyes looking through
the software is an advantage.]

Q. In what ways could the government contribute to or otherwise
encourage open source development and developer communities? [give us
free bandwidth!]

Q. Do you think that the widespread use of open source software might
help to address the gap between the IT 'have' and 'have nots' (i.e.
lower and higher income families & individuals).

Q. Do you see the widespread use of open source technology having an
education benefit for those interested in learning about IT?

Q. How do you see OSS benefiting developing countries?

Those are just off the top of my head. I might come up with some more
after a good night's sleep.

Fire some questions at me if you want some practice :-)


On Fri, 2003-12-19 at 17:59, david.newall at auug.org.au wrote:
> A group of politicians have kindly agreed to appear on a panel at the
> Linux and Open Source in Government conference, to be held in Adelaide
> in January.  I am canvassing ideas for questions to ask them.  What
> would *you* ask a politician regarding Linux and Open Source if you
> had the opportunity?
> _______________________________________________
> Talk mailing list
> Talk at auug.org.au
> http://www.auug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/talk
Dr Sam Stainsby
Queensland Greens
IT Working Group Convener (interim)
IT Policy Liaison (interim)
E-mail: .... sam at stainsby.id.au
Home Tel: .. +61 7 3289 5491    
Work Tel: .. +61 7 3864 2738
Mob. Tel: .. 0405 380 844

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