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NewsForge: Canadian Online Census Discriminates Against FOSS

May 05, 2006, 17:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

"In 2006, Canadians can fill out their census forms online for the first time--but not if they use GNU/Linux, or are free software advocates who prefer not to install a proprietary version of Java. The situation raises questions of open access to government that are familiar to most of the free and open source software (FOSS) communities, all the more so because other government services are implementing systems with the same limitations. Yet none of those whom Newsforge contacted at the Census Help Line, Statistics Canada, or Bell Canada, the contractor that oversees the development of security for the site, seemed concerned about the issues. Nor were they willing to say much when the issues were raised.

"The online census site is supported by Secure Channel, a new set of unified backend services developed by Public Works and Government Services Canada..."

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