Following the shambolic Western Australian Senate election, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has turned down a citizen’s FOI request to look at the software it uses to count Senate votes. The decision, published yesterday at RightToKnow.org.au, was in response to a request made by Michael Cordover. Cordover had asked for the source code of the software, along with scripts and interpreted code; along the data specifications the AEC used in writing the software.
In turning down the request, the AEC stated that 58 documents were discovered, and all were withheld, since according to the AEC the documents “would disclose trade secrets”, and would risk destroying or diminishing the commercial value of the information released.
The software, called EasyCode, is not used for voting, but for ballot counting only. The AEC believes EasyCode would be easy to decompile if it fell into the wrong hands (that is, members of the public).