Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee
Victorian Electronic Democracy, Final Report, May 2005
- The common term used
to describe third-generation mobile telephone services. 3G affords users a greater
range of communications options, including access to Internet content (WWW,
email) and video data.
- Asymmetric digital subscriber line,
an Internet access service allowing greater data transfer speeds from existing
telecommunications infrastructure (up to 500 times). This technology is “asymmetric”
as download speeds are faster than upload speeds.
- A piece of software that allows
access to a computer without using the conventional security procedures (e.g.
without knowledge of the user’s password and user name). These programs
are often Trojans.
- Ballot Initiative
- A form of direct democracy
practiced in some parts of the United States, where citizens can propose legislative
measures to be voted on via referenda at the next election of elected representatives.
- Binary digit, the smallest unit of
digital information, which can be represented as either of two values: 1 or
- “Black Hat” Hacker
- An individual who attempts to gain unauthorised access to a
computer system for illegal purposes. See also “White
- A list
of people or objects banned or restricted in some way. Often used in reference
to Internet content filtering, a blacklist is normally developed over time,
with new addresses (such as URLs or email) added on the basis of violations
of a rule or acceptable performance. See also whitelist.
- A “web log” or online
diary. Blogs have been identified as an increasingly popular source of online
publication, especially regarding political information, opinion publication
and alternative news coverage.
- The author of a blog.
- Blogging Engine
- A Content Management System
specifically designed for the purposes of writing and maintaining a blog.
- As defined by the Australian
Communications Authority (2004:200) “Describes a class of telecommunications
access services, such as ADSL, [hybrid fibre coaxial cable] and Wi-Fi, offering
a data rate greater than narrowband services. These services are usually ‘always-on’
and do not tie up a telephone line exclusively for data. … Any Internet
connection with an access data rate greater than 200 [kilobits per second].”
- As defined by the Federal Broadcasting Services Act 1992, the delivery
of television or radio programs, whether the delivery uses the radiofrequency
spectrum, cable, optical fibre, satellite or any other means or a combination
of those means, but excluding: a service that provides no more than data, or
no more than text (with or without associated still images); or a service that
makes programs available on demand on a point-to-point basis; or a service that
the Commonwealth Minister for Communication gazettes. See also narrowcasting.
- 8 bits.
- Cascading Style Sheet
- Internet-based resources
that specify how a webpage is presented on screen or when printed. Cascading
style sheets allow control over fonts, images, page layout and spacing. This
approach can allow for webpage designs to be attached to the same resource,
allowing greater accessibility for users with unusual screen sizes or equipment.
- A closed meeting of Members of Parliament
from a political party to determine policy and/or elect positions in the party.
- A citizen is a formal member of
a political community, membership of which confers rights (such as the right
of political participation) and responsibilities (adherence to the rule of law).
- Citizen Advisory Committee
- A group of elected
or appointed citizens selected to provide ongoing advice and recommendations
to a government (or other) body or agency.
- Citizen Jury
- A form of deliberative democracy
whereby small groups of people are brought together to hear evidence about a
policy or legislative issue, debate and determine a binding judgement based
on the evidence received. This model normally uses a randomised recruitment
process (similar to a jury for a court case). Decisions reached, unlike consensus-building,
need not be unanimous.
- Computer Game Console
- A dedicated electronic
device for playing computer games. These platforms can be based around home
use (such as the PlayStation or Xbox), or portable devices. While home-based
machines are increasingly networked, at the time of writing Internet access
on handheld game consoles remains formative (the recently released Nintendo
DS and Sony PlayStation Portable includes Wi-Fi capabilities that may be extended
to more general Internet access in the future).
- Consensus Building
- A conversational style
of decision making whereby issues and opinions are discussed across a range
of perspectives with the objective of reaching a shared opinion or compromise
agreement amongst a group of participants.\
- Content Management System
- A software package
that enables content to be managed on one or more websites. A content management
system allows one or more authors to prepare and publish information online,
without needing to prepare HTML code. Modern systems allow information and resources
(images, scripts, etc.) to be stored in a database for re-use, automatic indexing
and searching, and for workflow management (authorisation, publication, retirement,
- See black
- A communication that lowers
the personal or professional reputation of a third party, ridicules them, or
leads others to shun and avoid them.
- Deliberative Democracy
- A form of representative
democracy which involves groups of citizens who discuss and decide policy issues.
The nature of deliberative democracy is similar to representative democracy,
but differs in the mechanism by which decision makers are selected. Like direct
democracy, this form of decision making can be used in conjunction with the
representative form, such as the use of citizen juries to resolve specific
- Deliberative Polling
- A form of deliberative
democracy similar to a citizen’s jury, the deliberative poll varies in
that it normally consists of a larger number of deliberative groups (split into
sub groups) which are polled prior, during and after the provision of evidence
and time for debate and discussion.
- Delegated Decision
- The granting of statutory
authority to another individual or group without the original granting body
exercising authority or control over the final decision reached.
- Denial of Service Attack
- An attack against
a computer or network that attempts to limit or prevent access to the Internet
by flooding it with requests (for a webpage or online resource) or email (causing
the email system to overload). A more sophisticated variant of this attack is
a distributed denial of service attack, which uses multiple computers for this
purpose, increasing the amount of traffic and reducing defences of the victim’s
machine or network.
- Access to the Internet achieved
using a computer modem and standard telephone line.
- Digital Divide
- The lack of access to information
and communications technologies by segments of the community. The digital divide
is a generic term used to describe this lack of access due to linguistic, economic,
educational, social and geographic reasons.
- Direct Democracy
- A form of democratic government
whereby citizens have the right to participate in decision making through referenda
on legislative initiatives. Direct democracy can exist in parallel to representative
democracy, for example, where ballot initiatives allow citizens to vote on legislative
initiatives, or replace representative democracy. In practice, direct democracy
is limited by the complexity of modern policy making and the capacity for citizens
to deliberate issues in a timely and expedient manner.
Recording Electronic Voting Machine
- An electronic voting machine.
- DNS Poisoning
- The substitution of a false
Internet provider address at the domain name service level (e.g. where web addresses
are converted into numeric Internet provider addresses).
- Domain Name Service
- The Internet system
whereby textual addresses (such as www.parliament.vic.gov.au)
are converted into Internet provider numbers (220.127.116.11). A DNS service can
be offered by Internet service providers or hosts and domain name registrars.
- A group
of people entitled to vote. The term is commonly used to describe a geographical
area constituted for a specific electoral race (see also “virtual
electorate"). Traditionally, each electorate of Victoria has been represented
by a single Member of Parliament (a “single-member electorate”);
however, from 2006 the Legislative Council will be comprised of electorates
(“Provinces”) represented by more than one Member (“multimember
- Electronic Democracy
- The direct and indirect
use of electronic technologies (information and communications technologies)
to participate in the democratic process. Direct forms of electronic democracy
include electronic and online voting, participation in consultation, and interactions
between elected representatives and constituents. Indirect forms of electronic
democracy include such things as the production and consumption of politically
relevant information and community capacity building to utilise information
and communications technologies.
- Electronic Reading Room
- An online repository
of documents released under Freedom of Information provisions.
- Electronic Voting
- The use of an electronic device to record and/or tabulate votes cast in an election.
Electronic voting can take a number of forms: Remote voting, where the vote
is cast over the Internet or via another networked device (such as a mobile
telephone, digital interactive television, landline telephone, or through a
closed network), at a stand-alone computer voting terminal (see Direct
Recording Electronic Voting Machine), or at a terminal attached to a local
- An area of philosophical study
that focuses on our understanding of knowledge. Epistemology asks questions
about what is true and false, and what constitutes valid “information”.
A key question of epistemology is whether information is absolute or relative,
reflecting a tension between the “scientific method” and “social
- The common term for “electronic
mail”, a method for writing, sending and receiving electronic text (and
audio and/or video) over a computer network. A variation of email popular with
mobile telephone users is the Short Messaging Service (SMS). Email differs to
other messaging systems in that it is asynchronous in nature (see Instant
- Email Client
- An application program used
to receive, store and send email.
- Email Spoofing
- A type of Internet fraud
whereby the “header” of an email message is falsified to appear
to come from a different sender’s address. This type of criminal activity
is commonly used to deliver SPAM email, or for the purposes of fraud.
- A citizen who is a resident
in another country.
- Focus Group
- A group of individual citizens
drawn together by a researcher or moderator to discuss their personal experiences
or views on a particular topic. Unlike deliberative democracy consultations
methodologies such as deliberative polls, the results of a focus group are seldom
binding, and there is seldom a concern to introduce new evidence into the discussion
from external witnesses, although sometimes the focus group participants will
be required to comment on a specific document or proposal.
- The act of “black hat”
hacking that is not specifically motivated by malice, curiosity or criminal
intent, but for political purposes. This may include altering the content of
a website (defacement), or preventing or inhibiting communication (such as through
a denial of service attack). This term describes motive only, as the techniques
employed are similar or identical to those of crackers.
- The formal and official record
of parliamentary debate. In Victoria, Hansard is produced as hardcopy and electronic
copy and stored in a searchable database.
- The production of a “hash
value” to ensure that information or software is protected against tampering.
An encrypted hash value is created using specific formula that can be used at
a later time (e.g. by an end user) to ensure that the transmitted data is the
same as when the hash value was created. The advantages of hashing are in the
ability to exchange information securely and to detect tampering.
- “High definition television”
a replacement for standard definition television which provides greater picture
and sound quality to free-to-air broadcasting programs. HDTV in Australia is
defined by the regulator (the ABA) as “576 lines x 720 pixels @ 50Hz progressive
(576p)”. The Federal Government has introduced a requirement for free-to-air
licences to broadcast an increasing amount of HDTV programming over the coming
years. Current requirements for commercial and national broadcasters is the
provision of 1,040 hours of HDTV content per annum.
- Defined by the World Wide Web Consortium
(2004a) as “the lingua franca for publishing hypertext on the World Wide
Web. It is a non-proprietary format based upon SGML, and can be created and
processed by a wide range of tools, from simple plain text editors – you
type it in from scratch – to sophisticated WYSIWYG authoring tools. HTML
uses tags such as <h1> and </h1> to structure text into headings,
paragraphs, lists, hypertext links etc.”
- Hosting Service
- A commercial, free or advertising-supported
service that allows a third party to store information on an Internet host (e.g.
web server). These services may be sophisticated (providing a range of services
to the client, such as website design and management) or the simple provision
of hard disk space only.
- Pages of content that contain
linkages to other documents or data sources. One example of hypertext is the
HTML code commonly used in World Wide Web pages.
- Informal Vote
- A vote not counted in an
election because it has been cast in such a manner as to violate the rules of
counting. This may include the inappropriate use of a mark, failure to complete
a preferential system appropriately (missing a number, incompletion) or being
completed in an illegible manner. In addition, for postal voting environments,
a vote may be considered invalid (informal) because it has arrived late or lacks
the appropriate authentication (such as an envelope signature).
- Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)
That emerging class of technologies which allows the processing, storage and
communication of digital information. ICTs include networked and portable computer
systems, as well as advanced mobile telephone systems and services.
- Information Commons
- Information resources
shared by a community of producers and consumers in an open access environment.
- Instant Messaging
- A computer
program that allows near-instantaneous (synchronous) communication between computer
users. This communication can take a variety of forms, from text (similar to
an email) to videoconferencing. A variant of this type of application for mobile
telephones is the SMS.
- Intellectual Property
- A type of property
that is protected by copyright or patent laws. Intellectual property is the
product of intellectual processes, such as scholarship or creative work.
- Interactive Telephone Services
- A type of
software application that can use a combination of touchtone keypad and/or voice
input to provide access to information or services via a conventional telephone
- A world-wide network of computer
systems and networks that share information and data using a standard communication
protocol (Internet Protocol).
- Internet 2
- A project to develop new technologies
for high-performance computer networking. While specifically developed to facilitate
research and educational purposes, the involvement of research, commercial and
government organisations also aims to distribute these technology into the wider
- Internet Relay Chat
- See Instant
- Internet Voting
- See electronic
- “Internet Protocol”. The
basic addressing protocol of the Internet which allows resources to be located
across the distributed network.
- IP Spoofing
- The manipulation of Internet
packed routing data to impersonate a different machine.
- “Internet Protocol version 6”.
A replacement for the aging IPv4, which was released in the early 1980s. IPv6
will increase the number of available Internet addresses (from 32 to 128 bits),
resolving a problem associated with the growth of the number of computers attached
to the Internet.
- A computer program that captures
the keystrokes of a computer user and stores them. Modern keyloggers can store
additional information, such as images of the user’s screen. Most malicious
keyloggers send this data to a third party remotely (such as via email).
- 1,024 bits.
- Legislative Assembly
- The “lower house”
of the Parliament of Victoria, which is modelled on the House of Commons in
Westminster in the United Kingdom. The Assembly is the seat of Government, where
the Party or Parties with a majority form Government and thereby have control
over Executive Government through control of the Victorian Public Service via
the appointment of Ministers. The Assembly is the only Chamber in which financial
bills can be introduced, but other bills can be introduced in either Chamber.
- Legislative Council
- The “upper house”
of the Parliament of Victoria, which is modelled loosely on the House of Lords
in Westminster. The Council is generally regarded as a “house of review”
reconsidering the legislation passed by the lower house.
- See Parliament.
- The basis of
a computer operating system developed by Linus Torvalds (the Linux “kernel”).
Linux is an open-source project that has resulted in a number of Linux-based
operating systems (“distributions”) available for free or at cost.
Examples include Red Hat and XandrOS. See Open Source.
- Local Area Network
- A group of computers
or other electronic devices connected via a physical network or Wi-Fi. A LAN
may be connected to another wider network (such as the Internet), or act as
a stand-alone network.
- A member subscribed to an email
list who does not participate in the discussion.
- A type of malware based on the popular scripting languages
that provide functionality to Internet software (such as Java, Active X, Visual
Basic). Malicious uses for active content can include the delivery of viruses
or worms, use of desktop applications to undertake tasks (send email), record
information or redirect users to other locations.
- Malicious Mobile Code
- see malicious
- “Malicious software”;
a generic term covering a range of software programs and types of programs designed
to attack, degrade or prevent the intended use of an ICT or network. Types of
malware can include viruses, worms, Trojans, malicious active content and denial
of service attacks. In the case of invasion of privacy for the purposes of fraud
or the theft of identity, software that passively observes the use of a computer
is also malware (“spyware”).
- Man-in-the-middle Attack
- An “active”
Internet attack, whereby the criminal attempts to intercept, read or alter information
moving between two computers.
- A system of government whereby
a particular standard of ability is used as the basis by which political leadership
is determined or accrues to an existing elite.
- Data about data. Metadata is information
about an informational resource, be that a document (such as a webpage), image,
dataset or other resource. Metadata is valuable in the storage and retrieval
of information. Resources supported by good quality, structured metadata are
more easily discoverable.
- The procedures and techniques
used to collect, store, analyse and present information; a research process.
- A subset of electronic government,
“mobile government” is the use of mobile devices (Wi-Fi enabled
portable ICTs, mobile telephones, etc.) by the public sector. m-Government recognises
and responds to the changing nature of public sector work, such as the desire
for public officials to spend more time in local communities, rather than office
buildings, yet retain access to information services and public sector systems.
m-Government is also reflected in the changing pattern of public interaction
with Government, where increasing amounts of interactions will be through portable
- Multimedia Messaging
Service. An improved version of the Short Messaging Service (see SMS)
which allows the distribution of images, audio and video content via mobile
- Mobile Telephone
- A portable telephone that
is connected to the telecommunications network by radio signals communicated
with ground-based receiving stations or via satellite technology. Mobile telephones
provide a range of services, from SMS Instant Messaging and voice communications,
to data services, such as video and Internet access. Recent developments in
mobile telephone technology focus on new communications standards to increase
the ability of these devices to receive and transmit data (see 3G).
- The provision of additional
standard definition television signals over free-to-air broadcasting services.
Multichannelling is possible through the use of digital signals rather than
analogue, which increases the amount of data that can be provided. Under Federal
Government regulations, only the two national television networks (ABC and SBS)
are permitted to multichannel.
- Information presented in a variety
of formats that can include textual, audio and video.
- Multimedia Messaging Service
- See MMS.
- As defined by the Federal Government’s Broadcasting Services Act 1992,
broadcasting services whose reception is limited by one of the following: targeted
to special interest groups, limited location, limited period of time, of limited
appeal, or for some other reason. See also Broadcasting.
- See Webcasting.
- News Aggregator
- Software which allows syndicated
news content (such as RSS feeds) to be brought together and displayed. Aggregators
can be built into web browsers, website management systems or as stand-alone
- Online Dispute Resolution
- The use of ICTs,
particularly the World Wide Web, to facilitate alternative dispute resolution
processes to conventional judicial processes. These may include negotiation,
mediation or arbitration.
- Online Voting
- A form of electronic voting
that utilises computer networks to allow for the casting of a vote remotely
from the place of tabulation. Online voting can be undertaken in either closed
or open networks, depending on the nature of the electorate.
- Open-Source Software
- Computer software that is distributed under a licensing arrangement and which
allows the computer code to be shared, viewed and modified by other users and
organisations. Open source often refers to collaborative projects in the public
domain, or programs which the author(s) permit limited modification and redistribution
of the code based on specific licensing agreements. The outputs of open-source
projects may or may not be products that are free. See also Linux.
- Operating System
- The fundamental software
package for a computer that controls the management of its hardware and core
system operations (such as file management). Examples of operating systems (OS)
include the various versions of Microsoft Windows and DOS, Apple Mac OS and
- A modification of the preferential voting system
(which normally requires the sequential numbering of each candidate to cast
a valid vote) that allows the elector to elect not to provide a number
for one or more candidates. In this system of voting, a vote may “expire”
and not be counted in the final tally if all of the voter’s number candidates
- Participatory Decision Making
- The cultural
shift in government towards greater public involvement in processes of decision
- “Portable Document Format”;
a computer file format originally developed by Adobe Systems which allows for
the capture of formatting information that preserves the intended layout and
design of the original author.
- Personal Digital Assistants
- Small, often
handheld electronic devices that have many of the capabilities of larger and
more expensive desktop computers.
- Pervasive Computing
- The trend towards an
information environment in which users have access to ICTs throughout the environment.
This trend is particularly associated with the growth of wireless technologies
that allow users to access online information and services remotely and synchronise
data between different computers.
- A written document of protest
that requests that some action be taken by the target of the petition. A petition
normally contains a statement of concern or grievance, and is signed by citizens
- A type of fraud whereby a criminal
attempts to trick their victim into accepting a false identity presented by
the criminal. The common application of this approach is to send fake emails
(email spoofing) to a victim purporting to come from a legitimate source and
requesting information (such as a bank account number and password) or directing
the victim to a fake Internet website where this information can be captured
(webpage spoofing). This fraud can be very carefully targeted (where the criminal
has knowledge about their victim) or indiscriminately distributed on a mass
scale through SPAM.
- A contraction of “picture element”;
the smallest element of an image.
- A system of government whereby
wealth and the benefits that wealth accrues lead to a concentration of power
in the hands of those with disproportionate access to financial resources.
- Preferential Voting
- Called the “Australian
Ballot” internationally, the preferential system of voting requires that
the voter number (sequentially) the candidates on the ballot paper, and that
a system of counting and recounting based on elimination occurs until one candidate
secures an absolute majority of votes and is duly elected. This system has modified
versions (see optional preferential
voting) and is often compared with simple majority voting systems.
- Presiding Officers
- The Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly and the President of the Legislative Council in Victoria. These Members
of Parliament are elected to preside over the work of the two Chambers, regulating
appropriate conduct of the business of the house and performing important management
of administrative functions required for the operations of the Parliament as
a building, employer and public institution.
- Principal Petitioner
- The individual responsible
for initiating a petition to the Parliament.
- Private Key
- One half of a key pair under
public key cryptography. The private key is a secret key held to decrypt messages
sent to a receiver that has been encoded using their freely available public
key. See public key infrastructure.
- Or “Parliamentary Privilege”;
the rights and powers of the Houses and Members of Parliament and their committees,
including protections afforded from legal liability. “Privilege”
in the Victorian context stems from English Bill of Rights of 1689,
established to protect and facilitate the effective workings of Parliamentary
- The name given, in Victoria, for
electorates of the Legislative Council. See electorate.
- Public Key
- One half of a key pair under
public key cryptography. The public key is distributed freely to allow messages
to be encrypted for a specific receiver. The encrypted message can only be decrypted
using the secret private key. See public
- Public Key
- The use of asymmetric cryptography to provide for secure,
private communications over closed and open networks. Using a key pair (a public
key and a private key) an author (using the receiver’s public key) and
receiver (using their private key) can exchange secure information. By introducing
digital certificates issued by a trusted registration authority to link public
keys to their owners, the ownership of the public key can be matched against
the correct entity (person or organisation).
- Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
- Previously “Remote Site Syndication” (now obsolete). Based on XML,
Really Simple Syndication is a format for allowing content from one online resource
to be reproduced (syndicated) by other websites or systems.
- A vote of the entire electorate
on a law or proposal.
- Representative Democracy
- A form of democratic
government whereby citizens’ interests are represented by elected officials
in open elections. Representatives act in the interests of their electors, either
by martialling together electors’ views, or through personal initiative
and independence between elections.
- RSS Feed
- see Really Simple
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
- A “handshake
protocol” developed to allow for security and privacy during Internet
use. This approach relies on Public Key Encryption (PKI) to establish a secure
connection between a server and client.
- “Standard definition television”;
the current standard broadcasting quality for free-to-air television programming
in Australia. SDTV in Australia is defined by the regulator (the ABA) as “576
lines x 720 pixels @ 50Hz interlaced (576i)”.
- Simple Majority Voting
- Often referred to
as “first-past-the-post” voting; a simple system of voting whereby
the voter indicates one preference on the ballot only, and the winner of the
election is the candidate with the highest total number of votes.
- The common term used
to describe Instant Messaging available on mobile telephones.
- Social Capital
- Defined by the OECD as “…networks,
together with shared norms, values and understandings which facilitate cooperation
within or among groups”.
- Social Network
- The personal or professional
set of relationships between individuals. Social networks represent both a collection
of ties between people and the strength of those ties. Often used as a measure
of social “connectedness”, recognising social networks assists in
determining how information moves throughout groups, and how trust can be established
- Unsolicited bulk email, normally sent
for a commercial or fraudulent purpose. SPAM is an effective means of advertising
as the costs of distribution of SPAM email is very low. Thus, even with a very
low success rate, SPAMs can afford to send millions of emails to generate a
few positive responses. In recent years a number of governments around the world
have attempted to regulate SPAM via legislation (including Australia), however
the prevalence of SPAM has not yet abated.
- A generic term covering a range
of computer network attacks whereby the attacker attempts to forge or intercede
in a chain of communication. This can take a number of forms: email spoofing,
IP spoofing and webpage spoofing.
- A general term for a class of software
that monitors the actions of a computer user. This software falls into a number
of categories: Software that may be installed legitimately to provide security
or workplace monitoring, software with relatively benign purposes that may be
associated with marketing data collection and software that is maliciously installed,
either as a general violation of a user’s privacy or to collect information
to allow further attacks on their computer or online transactions (e.g. “keylogging”
to gain passwords).
- Statistical Local Area
- The smallest special
unit used for data aggregation by the Australian Bureau of Statistics during
non-census collection years. A standard unit of statistical analysis and presentation.
- The transferring of data in a
manner that allows it to be processed (displayed) as the data is transferred,
rather than requiring all the data to be transferred before it can be used.
Streaming is often useful in accelerating access to large audio or video files,
or where the stream is ongoing. See also webcasting.
- The right to vote.
- The rule or administration
of government by a group or class of technical experts. A system in which decision
making is given over to those with a specifically recognised set of skills,
educational background or employment position.
- Technological Inclusion
- The use of technology
to overcome social exclusion. Technological inclusion refers to policy and program
approaches to overcome the digital divide, with an emphasis on developing information
- “Trojan horse”; a reference
to the story of the Trojan War, a piece of malware (such as a virus program)
contained within a legitimate program. The purpose of the Trojan can be wide,
but the distribution approach is to attempt to have the user willingly install
the host program to gain access to the victim’s computer.
- Uniform Resource Locator; an Internet
address, such as www.victorianedemocracy.info
- Valid Vote
- A vote cast in such a way as
to be counted in the tally. This contrasts with an informal vote.
- A technology allowing
people in different locations to communicate via video and audio steams. Videoconferencing
can be undertaken through high-speed telephone networks or via the Internet.
In addition, new generation telephone services (3G) provide a mobile form of
videoconferencing available via mobile telephone.
- Virtual Electorate
The concept of an electorate for people who are not residents of a jurisdiction,
but still claim citizenship and are extended the right (full, or in part) to
participate in the electoral process; an electorate for expatriates.
- Virtual Private Network
- The use of a public
network, such as the Internet, to provide for secured traffic between trusted
computers via a process of encryption.
- A type of malware, a virus is a self-replicating
computer program which copies itself into other computer files in order to remain
undetected and spread from computer to computer (as opposed to a worm). The
range of actions that a virus may have once it has infected a computer can be
large, and some risk is associated purely due to poor program or incompatibility
with the OS of the infected computer.
- Web Browser
- A computer program that allows
access to Internet content collectively referred to as the World Wide Web. Modern
browsers can be stand-alone applications, or incorporated into a range of networked
devices, from desktop personal computers to mobile telephones. Browsers interpret
the information stored in hypertext pages to present it to the viewer and can
include text, images and multimedia content.
distribution of audio and/or video content over a computer network. Webcasting
can be episodic (sporadic) or continuous (such as a radio broadcast), temporal
(ephemeral) or permanent (stored). Webcasting takes advantage of “streaming”
to allow the user to watch or listen to the content as it is transmitted, rather
than having to wait for a complete file to be downloaded.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
set of standards developed and maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium regarding
design and technical elements necessary for developing online resources that
are accessible to people with disabilities.
- Webpage Spoofing
- A type of Internet fraud
whereby a user is deceived into thinking a false or substitute website is that
of a trusted third party. This may involve creating a realistic simulacra of
the original site or using a system which conceals or confuses the website address
either through the use of a numeric address, concealment via a script, use of
filler characters to conceal a destination address, or the use of homologues
domain names (domain names that contain two language scripts in them and appear
to be in one language, but direct the user to a different website).
- A list of related websites or similar
online content joined together by hypertext linkages. Webrings can be facilitated
by centralised databases which ensure the integrity of the ring is not lost
if a single member ceases hosting their content.
- “Wired Equivalent Privacy”;
a system of data encryption used in Wi-Fi technology to prevent access to, or
observation of, the wireless network. WEP is not considered secure and there
are a range of pre-existing software programs designed to break its encryption.
- Westminster System
- Australia’s system
of parliamentary democracy, inherited from the United Kingdom. The Westminster
system focuses on control of government created by majority control of the Lower
House of the Parliament, with Ministers selected from Members of Parliament
to take responsibility for the executive arm of government (bureaucratic government
departments and agencies). Ministers collectively form the Cabinet, headed by
the Prime Minister, Premier or Chief Minister (in the case of the States and
Territories), and are responsible for their actions to the Parliament and serve
with the Parliament’s confidence. This system of government is sometimes
referred to as “responsible government”.
- “White Hat”
- Attempting to gain “unauthorised” access to a computer
system to determine and address its vulnerabilities. White hat hackers may be
employed directly by the owner of the system, and therefore serve as part of
the systems testing and verification process, or they be independent, motivated
by personal reasons to improve the system or highlight security flaws. See “Black
- An approved
list; often used with regard to Internet content filtering, a whitelist only
includes addresses (such as URLs or email) that have been specifically vetted
in advance. See also Blacklist.
- Wireless fidelity, defined by the
Australian Communications Authority (2004:210) as “Used generically to
refer to WLAN (IEEE 802.11) technology providing short-range, high data rate
connections between mobile data devices and access points connected to a wired
- A website or similar online resource
which allows users to add and edit content collectively.
- A brief, but intensive group meeting
(often facilitated by one or more people) aimed at the production of a specific
outcome (such as a policy recommendation) through problem solving.
- World Wide Web
- The World Wide Web (WWW)
is the collection of hypertext pages available via the Internet and web browsers.
A distributed resource, the WWW is a constantly changing set of pages and context,
stored across hundreds of thousands of computer systems that make up the Internet.
- World Wide Web Consortium
- An international
consortium of member organisations that develops and maintains technical standards
for Internet content.
- A type of malware; a worm is a self-replicating
program similar to a virus. The difference between a virus and a worm is that
a worm does not attempt to conceal itself in other programs, but is a stand-alone
program. As of mid-2004, instances of worms written for mobile telephones have
emerged, focusing on distribution via Bluetooth Wi-Fi connections. Given the
popularity of mobile telephones, it is likely that the number of telephone worms
- A general purpose markup language
that utilises existing and future XML elements to present information on the
WWW. XHML focuses on structuring documents rather than presenting them, allowing
online information to be presented in a variety of different forms, based on
user need and device capability.
- Extensible Markup Language; defined
by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (2004b) as “a class of data objects
called XML documents and partially describes the behavior of computer programs
which process them. XML documents are made up of storage units called entities,
which contain either parsed or unparsed data. Parsed data is made up of characters,
some of which form character data, and some of which form markup. Markup encodes
a description of the document's storage layout and logical structure. XML provides
a mechanism to impose constraints on the storage layout and logical structure.”
- “Zombie computer”; a
computer attached to a network that has had its security compromised and is
remotely controlled for another purpose. This purpose may be to use it as a
launching point for another attack, or the distribution of SPAM.