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

04.23.08

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.

flickr:2400443777

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. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  3. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  4. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  5. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  6. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  7. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  8. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  9. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  10. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  11. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  12. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  13. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  14. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  15. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  16. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  17. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day



  18. Personal Audio LLC and Patent Troll Jim Logan Demonstrate the Harms of Software Patents and Why They Must Never Spread to Europe

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio (a notorious Texas-based patent troll) is still fighting with his bogus patent, having already caused enormous damage with a single software patent that should never have been granted in the first place (due to prior art, not just Alice)



  19. The Patent Microcosm Hopes That the Originators of Software Patents Will Undermine the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

    Now that the actions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which have been consistently upheld by the CAFC in precedential decisions, are suddenly being questioned the patent microcosm gets all giddy and tries to undermine PTAB (again)



  20. That Time When the Administrative Council Helped Battistelli Crush Oversight (Audit Committee) and What ILO Said About It a Month Ago

    Things are becoming ever more troublesome at the EPO as the Administrative Council enjoys inaction from the International Labour Organization (ILO), in spite of its role in destroying much-needed oversight at the behest of Battistelli



  21. The EPO's Administrative Council Keeps Postponing Debate About Grounds for Firing the President

    A recollection of events prior to the latest Administrative Council meeting, where Benoît Battistelli's failings and accountability for failing to correct them never even came up



  22. A Surge of Staff Complaints About the European Patent Office Drowns the System, Disservice to Justice Noted

    Self-explanatory graphs about the state of the justice [sic] system which is prejudiced towards/against EPO workers, based on internal reports



  23. Links 16/8/2016: White House Urged by EFF on FOSS, Go 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Links 15/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC2, Glimpses at OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

    Links for the day



  25. Clawing Back the Staff Benefits at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Staff of the EPO is leaving (or retiring) in droves as abusive management continues to be the norm and staff benefits are being taken away or gradually revoked



  26. The Patent Microcosm is Panicking and Spinning Alice/§ 101 Because US Software Patents Are Still Dying

    A look at recent developments in the software patents scene in the United States, with increased focus on (or fear of) the Patent Trial and Appeal Board



  27. 21,000 Posts in Techrights in Less Than a Decade

    This post is the 21,000th post and the next one will make it more than twenty-one thousand posts in total. We are turning 10 in November.



  28. Patent Microcosm Shuts Out the Poor: Unified Patent Court (UPC) Promotion by Practising Law Institute (PLI) Only for the Wealthy

    The people who are profiting from patent feuds, disputes, lawsuits etc. are still trying to muscle their will into European law and they keep the general public out of it by locking down (or pricing out of reach) their meetings where they influence/lobby decision-making officials



  29. The United States Has a Growing Patent Trolls Epidemic as Very High Proportion of Lawsuits Filed by Them

    A look at the high proportion of patent lawsuits that are filed by entities that make nothing at all and thus serve no role whatsoever in innovation



  30. Pushers of Software Patents Outside the United States (Which is Belatedly Squashing These Patents)

    How patent law firms are distorting the debate about software patents in hope of attracting business from gullible people who misunderstand the harsh (and worsening) reality of software patenting


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts