08.19.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

British Government Laughs at Digital Standards Organisation with a Straight Face

Posted in Deception, DRM, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Digistan electronic petition was posted a couple of months ago asking: “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to adopt the Hague Declaration of the Digital Standards Organisation.” It was later accepted by Prime Minister’s Office.

For context and background about Digistan, see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12].

The details of Petition were as follows:

We call on the UK government to: (1) Procure only information technology that implements free and open standards; (2) Deliver e-government services based exclusively on free and open standards; (3) Use only free and open digital standards in their own activities. as adopted and proclaimed by the founders of the Digital Standards Organization in The Hague on 21 May 2008.

Having signed the petition, I was among those who received a shocking response:

The UK Government champions open standards and interoperability through its eGovernment Interoperability Framework Version 6.0, 30th April 2004 (eGIF) and through the publication of its Open Source Software Policy which is available in the document “Open Source Software, Use within UK Government, Version 2.0, 28 October 2004”.

Were recipients of this statement rolling and laughing on the floor at the sight of the word “champions”, as in “UK Government champions open standards”? Were they furious? If not, perhaps they should have. When it comes to open source and open standards, the British government is abysmal and among the worst in the western world. What is it raving about?

Is it the iPlayer, which is a BBC project and thus government backed [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]?

Is is the British Library, which seems to have been corrupted by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]?

Is it the Newham fiasco [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]?

How about BECTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]?

The NHS fiasco [1, 2]?

BSI, which was pulled to court over OOXML? As a quick refresher:

Let’s now forget Alex Brown and his Microsoft mischiefs [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21].

A lot more could be written about the stories above, but this was covered before.

There is nothing whatsoever that the government does for standards (or the buzzword “inter-oh!-perability”). They just point people to pages with words on them. Words are cheap. Deeds are needed.

As we wrote some days ago, despite what some press audaciously says, the OOXML debacle is not over yet. Those 7,000+ pages of buggy proprietary rubbish specs could still be eliminated as a standard given further complaints that are taken to a higher level. Groklaw has the details and it concludes with:

I’d certainly love to hear about OOXML being applied in practice. So, even ignoring the creative possibilities of periodic review, defined so vaguely one could, I think, ask for one at any time, unless I’ve misunderstood what ISO has on its website, which is always possible, I see another possible step in the appeals process.

Perhaps it’s time for ISO to be replaced [1, 2]. These suggestions have come from several independent directions. ISO’s denial and vanity are beyond repair and it is not willing to acknowledge the corruption. As for Microsoft, that’s another story.

“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”

Richard Stallman, June 2008

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

4 Comments

  1. alex said,

    August 22, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Gravatar

    Obviously you list many examples of where they are bad but there are some places they have made an effort. For example in the approach and available specification for dealing Companies House. That is one example of where the British Government actually makes an effort.

    On the other hand one glaring area that they are dreadful is documents. For example the obscene use of Word doc’s. Notably to me with dealing with the Ministry of Justice and the format they offer their application forms in.

    Still there must be other areas that they do actually do a good job. Just a few.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 22, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Gravatar

    I later realised that I had forgotten other examples like National Archives.

  3. petrol said,

    September 3, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Gravatar

    The government should grant the right to citizens to sue them if they do not comply with free and open standards.

    That would create a little bit more pressure on them to have an incentive to comply to those standards.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 3, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Gravatar

    Just about a week ago. Target paid about $5 million after being sued over Web standards compliance.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. In Picture: After Billions Spent on Marketing, With Vista 11 Hype and Vapourware, No Real Gains for Windows

    The very latest figures from Web usage show that it’s hardly even a blip on the radar; Windows continues bleeding to death, not only in servers



  2. [Meme] [Teaser] Double-Dipping Friedrich Rödler

    As we shall see tomorrow night, the EPO regime was supported by a fair share of corrupt officials inside the Administrative Council



  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal

    How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)



  4. Links 16/10/2021: SparkyLinux Turns 10 and Sculpt OS 21.10

    Links for the day



  5. “Facebook Whistleblowers” Aside, It Has Been a Dying Platform for Years, and It's Mentally Perverting the Older Generation

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  6. [Meme] Microsoft Has Always Been About Control Over Others

    Hosting by Microsoft means subjugation or a slavery-like relationship; contrary to the current media narrative, Microsoft has long been censoring LinkedIn for China’s autocratic regime; and over at GitHub, as we shall show for months to come, there’s a war on information, a war on women, and gross violations of the law



  7. EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  8. The Reign in Spain

    Discussion about the role of Spain in the EPO‘s autocratic regime which violates the rights of EPO staff, including Spanish workers



  9. [Meme] Spanish Inquisition

    Let it be widely known that Spain played a role in crushing the basic rights of all EPO workers, including hundreds of Spaniards



  10. Why You Shouldn’t Use SteamOS, a Really Incompetent GNU/Linux Distribution With Security Pitfalls (Lutris is a Great Alternative)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 15, 2021



  12. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  13. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  14. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  16. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  17. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  18. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

    Links for the day



  19. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  20. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  21. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 2021



  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection

    The EPO‘s presidency (led by Frenchmen for nearly 15 years out of the past 18 years; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French despite their somewhat misleading surnames) is extremely unlikely to even be mildly scrutinised by the French delegates because of a web of nepotism and protectionism



  24. [Meme] Another Maladministration Meeting Comes to an End

    Did the EPO‘s overseeing body properly tackle Benoît Battistelli‘s illegal acts, authorised by that very same overseeing body? Don’t hold your breath as António Campinos continues to crack down on staff (maybe ILOAT will rule on it in 2030)



  25. Links 14/10/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.2, Happy Birthday to Jolla, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0, OpenBSD 7.0

    Links for the day



  26. [Teaser] What Miguel de Icaza Really Thinks of the CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Following the opening of a new series about Microsoft GitHub we drop a little teaser today; we expect dozens of parts to be released in the coming weeks/months as facts are being validated and organised



  27. Splitting the Time to Cover More Leaks and Exposés

    We take stock of Part 11 of the ongoing EPO series (“EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion”) and explain what caused various delays yesterday; we may have to up our pace a little in order to keep up with an influx of leaks and whistleblowers



  28. [Meme] Destroying the Workplace

    The working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative CouncilThe working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative Council



  29. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists

    Today we commence a new series that implicates Microsoft, GitHub, Copilot, and Team Mono



  30. EPO Management Tricks EPO Staff Into Taking More Paycuts

    “Education and childcare reform” [sic] is an António Campinos "reform" in the same sense regressive salary reductions are just “adjustments” (euphemism); Electronic opt-in gaffes, according to staff representatives, show that the tradition of Benoît Battistelli carries on at the Office, taking away from staff for a few corrupt officials to milk the institution to death


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