I've been meaning to update my Advogato journal for awhile now. Here are highlights for this past year from my activities related to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), e-Government, e-Democracy, and e-Voting.
In January 2003, Robin 'Roblimo' Miller wrote an article - Making a Living Saving the Government Money - for NewsForge about devIS (the small company I work for). Slashdot also posted a link to the story - Your Tax Dollars Buying Open Source Software.
In February, I attended 2003 Winter Meeting for the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED). The FEC, NASED, and the Election Center have been the three main organizations in the US in charge of testing and certifying voting systems. The soon-to-be-formed Election Assistance Commission will take over this part of the FEC's role.
In February 2003, I heard about the push for technologists to endorse a Resolution on Electronic Voting promoting voter verified audit trails (VVAT) for e-voting machines. I submitted my endorsement after carefully checking that the resolution (and the website) did not specify the VVATs had to be paper-based (I was/am aware that electronic VVATs are possible, just not easy). Unfortunately, the webpage and website containing the VVAT statement to endorse were later changed to be a very heavily pro-VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trails). This, it seems, has led many people (and the media) to be rather confused - thinking all those endorsements are/were for paper-only VVAT (VVPAT) when they're not, they're only for the general concept of VVAT.
In March 2003, I had the opportunity to deliver a mini-presentation of sorts on E-Rulemaking to an NSF sponsored workshop. The main presenter slots had already been filled for the workshop by the time I had found out about it, so there was only room for me to deliver a very brief mini-presentation on E-Rulemaking related work I did with TDP. The mini-presentation, eRulemaking Technology: Issues to Consider, is posted on the web-services.gov website. The workshop agenda is here.
Later in March 2003, I was able to attend the second eGovOS conference in Washington DC and meet a number of interesting people.
Sometime in mid-2003 (I don't recall the exact date) I had the opportunity and privilege to hear Richard Stallman speak at GW. After reading and hearing about RMS for years, it was interesting to see and hear him in person for the first time. He even transformed into the legendary Saint IGNUcius at the end of his talk.
In November 2003, the first eGovOS conference to be held in Europe ended up being cancelled due to some funding/political issues. Hopefully, Tony Stanco and the eGovOS crew will be able to setup another eGovOS conference in Europe in the not-too-distant future.