Now this is fascinating.

Thanks to wikileaks, it is now possible to compare versions of some U.S. government documents that have been released under Freedom of Information Act requests, but in redacted form, with the actual raw documents themselves.  Thus we can have an insight not only into the material the documents cover, but also what topics the government censors feel must be withheld.

In software development, one of the most frequently used tools is something we call diff.   A diff tool compares two versions of a text file, typically a design document or a the source code for a program, and highlights the changes between them.  For the programmer, this is a useful tool to see what has changed between versions, to see if any errors have crept into the source, to see what modifications other team members may have made to the file, and to see how the code has evolved over time.

I have a feeling that in the future this technology will become more prevalent in the legal and governmental world.   It will be possible to track all the changes on a government bill as it proceeds through the legislative process.  Any attempt by a politician to make significant changes shortly before the bill is passed will become very obvious.  In fact I hope that with the rise of this kind of tool, along with collaborative websites along the lines of Wikipedia, the Canadian population can become much more involved in understanding, reviewing and  contributing to the legislative process.