Posts by Nigel McNie

  • Up Front: Reviewing the Election, in reply to izogi,

    I write a bit about this. I've written about the issues for online voting regarding our rights here: https://medium.com/@nigelmcnie/democratic-principles-and-online-voting-836b7dbd1c73

    And also about New Zealand's steady march towards having online voting here: https://medium.com/@nigelmcnie/the-next-step-for-online-voting-in-new-zealand-498ce4e86201

    In short: In today's internet environment, it's just not possible to uphold our democratic rights to a free and fair election, as per article 21 of the UN declaration of human rights: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a21

    And despite this, we are pushing on with politically binding rollouts of online voting in NZ local government elections, laughably called "trials".

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Reviewing the Election, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Indeed, that's a really good point. There are some myths around online voting, and the "it might lift turnout" is so common it make me ill. It was even listed as one of the main benefits in the Online Voting Working Group's report, despite Elections (and Statistics NZ) sitting on data that says it's just not true.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Reviewing the Election,

    "...you can download a ballot paper, print it out, fill it in, scan it, and upload it."

    As the number of votes received from overseas grows, and as the internet voting push from government moves forward, we are beginning to head towards a time where hacking our elections become merely a question of cost/benefit. I'm glad to hear online voting isn't a priority for the 2017 general election at least.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How about that cricket, eh?,

    No sledging. In a world of diving, cheating and drug taking, what an amazing game it was. That match, and both teams, should be held high as examples of sporting conduct at its best.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God,

    Hear, hear.

    We chose our school because it had no religious instruction. If they brought it in, I think I'd go NATO. They'd be wanting to take away 30 minutes of class time a week in order to undo all the education we're doing at home about their bodies, their choices and their morals?

    When you look at it that way around, bible in schools doesn't seem "necessary" to give parents "choice", does it.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confidential information: the…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The "under urgency" wouldn't be great, I agree. More a response to the field day that could open up if a judge interprets the existing law in a foolish way.

    All I'm hoping for is that the law is clarified or changed such that it gives sensible results in cases that we techies understand. As in, "Labour made their website available therefore anything else I deliberately look for on there is fair game" becomes illegal, as would some of the other cases outlined by several of the earlier commenters.

    Maybe the law is good enough now, maybe it'll be clarified in a sane way by a judge later, or maybe we'll need to pass something new. Good law is all I want.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confidential information: the…, in reply to Alan Armstrong,

    Not better at all. The content could not be found by clicking. The content could be found by deliberately looking for it by trying various requests (aka: "what happens if we go to labour.org.nz/backups?), but there's no way that content was overtly linked from on their website, and no way they intended for it to be accessed by the public in that fashion.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confidential information: the…,

    A court case around this would either result in sanity in interpretation, or a new bill under urgency. Maybe they'd listen to the experts this time. Bring it on.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confidential information: the…,

    As far as I remember, Labour's information was only available due to a combination of oversight and misconfiguration of their servers (allowing access to data they should have denied, or data that should have been stored elsewhere entirely).

    It's extremely likely that not even Labour wanted to be able to access the information in the manner that it was by WhaleOil (they would have other, authorised ways to get at it, such as legitimate login/ftp accounts on the server). More likely, they simply didn't realise it could be accessed that way, and if someone would have told them, they would have removed that avenue of access.

    Perhaps an analogy would be leaving your door unlocked. If someone thinks to try the door and finds it unlocked, then lifts your mail from where you left it inside the door, is it still unauthorised? My intuition says yes - they're obviously tresspassing, and haven't been authorised to do so - but I don't know how well this analogy carries into the law around hacking.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Dropping the A-Bomb,

    I remember boggling when I found out that abortion was illegal in NZ, and that you had to get yourself declared mentally unfit for pregnancy to get one.

    A previous partner forgot to take the pill on two occasions. We had agreed, perhaps naively, that the pill was what we would rely on. On those two occasions, she had to take the emergency contraceptive pill, just in case. This was stressful, but I can't imagine how much worse it would have been for us if she'd have actually gotten pregnant. We didn't want a child, that's why we used the contraception. But we would have been faced with something akin to getting her declared mentally unwell (on top of the rest of the sorry process). She wasn't mentally unwell at all.

    Were we silly for just relying on the pill? Perhaps. Feel free to judge, if it makes you feel better. But it doesn't change the fact that we were two rational, sensible human beings, making a choice that was right for us - no children right now please. The abortion law as it stands doesn't allow us to make that choice without "society" effectively blaming us if an accident occurs.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2012 • 13 posts Report Reply

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