Alberta Budget 2010 website – security through obscurity

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is budget day here in Alberta. Like many Albertans, I am curious about what Finance Minister Ted Morton is going to deliver, so I started poking around online. First stop, last year’s budget, available at http://budget2009.alberta.ca/.

Seems logical that the 2010 budget would be at http://budget2010.alberta.ca. So I tried that URL, and was prompted with a login screen. First thing that came to mind was “administrator” and “password”. Voila:

Fortunately for Mr. Morton, the documents don’t appear to have been uploaded yet. You can see all the placeholders though, which is kind of funny. And it seems you can leave feedback.

It does reveal the theme of the budget, Striking the Right Balance. Last year was Building on Our Strength.

This is what is known as “security through obscurity”. It’s not really secure, it’s just hidden. I’d suggest that programmers working at the Government of Alberta invest in Writing Secure Code, a fantastic book on the subject.

I hope this isn’t a reflection of the budget we see tomorrow…cutting corners, etc.

UPDATE: Sometime around 9:45 AM today they changed the password, and I think pointed the virtual directory somewhere else.

UPDATE2: The Journal wrote about this today.

UPDATE3: The site is now officially live with all the budget documents. Enjoy!

Budget Day 2009 in Canada – track it online

Though a lot of information about the new budget has already been released, there are sure to be some surprises and of course, interesting discussions taking place throughout the day. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will deliver his budget speech in the House of Commons at roughly 4 PM EST (2 PM MST) today. All the major Canadian media outlets will have coverage, and some even have unique online coverage too.

Here’s how to track Budget Day 2009 online:

And a few other interesting links:

Here in Edmonton, the federal wish list comes in at $2.4 billion. I’m sure the capital notebook blog and Dave Cournoyer will have more on today’s news from a local perspective.

It’ll be interesting to see how the day plays out! I’ll update the post if I come across any more useful links – leave me a comment if you have one to suggest!

UPDATE: There’s a word cloud of Flaherty’s speech available here, and you can read the full text of the speech here.

UPDATE2: Here’s a PDF of the budget, courtesy of The Globe and Mail.

UPDATE3: The official Budget 2009 site also has the PDF and some other information, but is very slow.

UPDATE4: A number of responses from organizations (CUPE, CFIB, etc.) are available at Canadian Newswire.