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Media Government Politics Technology

Open Source Tech Used To Monitor Afghan Election 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-as-in-voting dept.
chrb writes "BBC News is reporting on how the Alive in Afghanistan project is helping to oversee the Afghan elections using open-source technologies. The site was set up by Brian Conley, who is also responsible for 'Alive in Baghdad', 'Alive in Mexico', and who was arrested for filming protests in China last year. The Afghan site uses FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi to process and visualize SMS texts from Afghani citizens, allowing reports from all over the country to be rapidly collated and re-distributed globally."
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Open Source Tech Used To Monitor Afghan Election

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  • by denzacar (181829) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @07:13AM (#29131379) Journal

    How hilarious would it be if Afghanistan ended up with a more verifiable vote than the U.S. because they used open source technology to track the election?

    Unless women in USA start wearing chadors (and get to vote like that) it is highly unlikely. []

    Did Britney even vote in the US election?

  • Good Products (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday August 20, 2009 @09:37AM (#29132827) Homepage Journal

    It's unfortunate that this entire thread appears to be about the politics of this situation and none about the tech. Ushahidi is the work of Erik Hersman [] and the folks at Afrigadget []. I've been fortunate enough to hang out with Erik some and he's a really cool guy with some amazing ideas around tech and the developing world (specifically Africa in his case but they are applicable in many other settings.) If you are on twitter he's worth following - @whiteafrican []
    And FrontlineSMS has been getting great press lately as people have been getting more and more creative in its use. It is producing great results in first world countries as well as the developing world. What I find exciting though is that in the FrontlineSMS forums one meets developers that are helpful and even if they can't solve a persons problem, the code is all open and others are welcome to add the functionality they need. This is huge for the NGOs that they are able to get tools they need at little or no cost while at the same time not getting stuck with vendor lock in that limits their options. And it's a great tool.
    Every so often we have an ask slashdot about how tech types can give back. FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi are two great examples of projects that are out their doing it in a big way and provide a great opportunity for geeks to get on board. If you are really hung up on worrying about Afghanistan, go to the sites of both and see all the other places they are being used in meaningful ways to make people's lives better.

  • Re:hope it works (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 20, 2009 @01:59PM (#29136779)

    Conspiricy Theory: Bin Ladin is dead, but by keeping him "alive" in the media, it allows the Futile War to continue as planned.

The longer the title, the less important the job.