EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Urgent Need for Transparency in Procurement, Standards-Setting Process

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, OLPC at 9:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Visibility a prerequisite in a war against corruption

It has for long been argued — in several different places in fact — that one of the principal adoption barriers for Free software to face is corruption. The obstacles to clear are not purely technical.

“…one of the principal adoption barriers for Free software to face is corruption.”There are quite a few companies that are wealthy enough to engage in corruption and spread disinformation in order to protect their business legacies. Not a single company is blamed here and the problem is not unique to the technology sector (automobiles, pharmaceuticals and oil companies immediately spring to mind), but that is just the reason why companies like Microsoft simply cannot and absolutely must not be ignored (see this recent comment which contains a set of links about Microsoft’s role in derailing OLPC).

The “anti-Microsoft” label (and its equivalent labels) are frequently used [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] to deter those who look under the surface to discover some of the real sources for interference in Free software procurement and embrace of open standards.

Several days ago we began to mention a series of investigative stories from The Inquirer , which was grilling Newham’s CIO, Richard Steele. He has, for quite some time as a matter of fact, been blamed for betraying the British public (taxpayers) by doing legwork for Microsoft. The Inquirer, which has gotten under his skin, continues to reveal more damaging evidence.

The salutary lesson to draw from our dealings, Richard, is not whether you can trust the press. It is rather a lesson in managing expectations, a process every CIO should know well.

The expectations you invested in your 2004 deal with Microsoft, as enshrined in the memorandum of understanding, were also unrealistic.

To recap, the original MOU said the use of Microsoft software would “improve Common Performance Assessment results and Star Ratings” measured by the Audit Commission.

The analysis presented in the INQUIRER on Friday demonstrated that this expectation had not been met.

When we asked you about this on Friday you told us there was a new MOU. Now you accuse us of twisting your words.

How would you prefer to describe what happened to the original agreement? If it has not been scrapped, perhaps it has been decommissioned, recycled, sold on eBay?

Having been told you had drawn up a second MOU with Microsoft, we were clearly interested to learn what new terms you had agreed in the public interest. You said it was confidential. But the first MOU was deemed fit for publication under FOI rules.

You also said the first MOU was only ever a three year deal. But the document was accepted by a Council vote as part of a 10-year deal.

Now four years since you signed the original agreement it is proper for us to ask how well the public money you are giving Microsoft is spent.

It soon becomes clearer that when a company reached out for validation using a study from a firm with which it's associated, then it’s no better than what Microsoft does. It’s an orgy of money and power where one covers the back of peers in order to ensure affluence and protect a closed circulation of influence, excluding GNU/Linux and Free software in the process. This is very timely, particularly in light of Microsoft’s hijack of panels and standards bodies. A day or so ago Bob Sutor called for immediate change, but did so very politely.

Should we require full disclosure by standards participants?


When people sit around a room debating a standard, should everyone there and those who might be using the standard have the right to

* Know who is financially supporting the people debating or creating the standards technology and documents?
* Review all emails between the participants related to the standard?
* Have public access to the minutes?
* See all drafts of the standards?
* Have the sessions videotaped and streamed out to the general public and web?

ISO in moneyAmong the more recent fiascos that were covered we have the BSI (UK), Kenya, Norway (see photo from the protests below) and even ISO.

Free software rarely fail to meet the needs and demands of the market. It might, on the other hand, fail to fight corruption or play in an equally dirty fashion (fighting fire with fire like the Linux Foundation does).

In this Web site we will continue to strive to expose those who are part of what’s suitably called the “shillcosystem”. If you come across stories that fit this theme, please do share them. The site’s readership has grown significantly in the past week, so a difference is made. The truth is gradually being revealed, so it’s becomes harder to get away with misbehaviour — making it a constructive criticism as opposed to crazed rants.


Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  2. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  3. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  4. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  5. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  6. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  7. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  8. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  9. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  10. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  11. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  12. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  13. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  14. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  15. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  16. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  17. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  18. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  19. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  20. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  21. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  22. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  23. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  24. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  25. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  26. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  27. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  28. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  29. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  30. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts