Today I received an email from Gossau (, my hometown.

First thought: where do they have my email address from, and why would they use this channel? Phishing? If you look at the email, it even looks the way a phishing mail would. Mhh. Well it might be legit because they may want to use email for things like surveys or general information. I probably gave them the address once, so I guess it's okay.

The topic was a survey where they are interested in how the citizens learn about the daily activities around the city. Fair enough. As I'm doing my part, I participated.

Once I was (via Gossau's website—not the link in the email) on the survey, the horrible UI almost gave me a stroke. So I opened the dev tools found immediately a security issue.

Well, what would you expect? I didn't spend more time with the survey's application, but there are for sure more issues.

Onward... I get to screen shot 3.

And THAT'S what all is about. The screenshot states that starting in July 2019 the city is allowed to publish official information legally binding via online channels only. So they no longer need publish such kind of information in printed form.

And, by the way, this screenshot shows exactly how the page appeared on my screen. I did not move the slider. This tells me that they either are as sneaky as you would suspect them to be, or that the UI of DemoSCOPE's software is that poor that it even invalidates their own surveys' data as the slider's position influences the participant's view. I don't think the first is true: in that case, the slider would be more on the left or the options would be switched.

However, the whole idea of publishing official information electronically only sounds like a bad idea. It's a lot easier to publish bad news where nobody finds it, or even change it later. At the moment I don't think Gossau would do that, but why risk it?

By the way, the canton of St. Gallen ( publishes all official information in the Amtsblatt (, where they state:

Bitte beachten Sie, dass der elektronischen Fassung des Amtsblatts keine Rechtskraft zukommt. Als massgebliche amtliche Veröffentlichung gilt weiterhin die gedruckte Fassung des Amtsblatts.

I wonder why that is...

Well, we'll see how it goes!