08.19.08

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/08/19/digital-standards-organisation-uk/

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

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.

What Else is New


  1. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  3. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  4. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  5. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  6. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  7. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  8. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."



  11. Richard Stallman's Honors and Awards (and Why He Resigned in 2019)

    Reproduced with permission



  12. Links 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

    Links for the day



  13. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  14. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.



  15. Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO's Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

    The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic



  16. Who is Richard Stallman?

    Reproduced with permission



  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, April 13, 2021



  18. Links 13/4/2021: FreeBSD 13.0 Final, Slackware 15.0 GNU/Linux Beta Release and OpenMandriva Lx 4.3 Plans

    Links for the day



  19. IBM Stroking the Masters

    IBM continues to diminish its weakly-supported thesis about the word “Master” being inadequate in all contexts and IBM’s front group, the Linux Foundation, has just promoted more of that same self-serving agenda in the corporate media (screenshot below from 5 minutes ago)



  20. The 'Stallman Support' Web Site and How You Can Support Truth, Not Just Software Freedom

    The Stallman Support Dot Org Web site (stallmansupport.org, "In Support of Richard Stallman“), endorsed by Stallman himself, sets the record straight while the corporate media keeps peddling lies and distortions



  21. An Examination of Correspondence Between the Tweedledum-Tweedledee Duo, Lutz and Ernst

    A quick look at the letters and E-mails sent back and forth from the current VP5 and former VP5 of the EPO, Europe’s second-largest institution that the German government has let exist outside the rule/reach of any law



  22. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 16: An Inimitable Duo

    How the efforts to reform the EPO's data protection framework were derailed by the actions of Lutz and Ernst



  23. How the GNU Operating System Really Started (Almost a Decade Before Linux Came Out)

    Later this year Linux turns 30, but Linux is just a component added to the GNU Operating System, developed a very long time earlier based on the design of UNIX (the mainstream media likes to distort that part of history); here’s the creator of the GNU Operating System, telling me his story here in the United Kingdom (we did many clips like these and this one seems very timely)



  24. Richard Stallman: The Other Things I Have to Say I Put on Stallman.org... Reject the Idea That You Have to Accept Something Like Facebook

    Transcript below



  25. An Ode to Dr. Ernst

    THE BUDGET is right...



  26. During Pandemic, With Rising Inflation, Corrupt EPO Management With Its 'Shadow Budget' Cracks Down on Education and Childcare Allowance

    While hoarding and misusing money (by basically granting lots of patents that ought not be granted) the management of the EPO hides it aside, then proceeds to crushing salaries and benefits of staff, even pensioners



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, April 12, 2021



  28. In Support of Richard Stallman Normalizing Truth, Reason, Dialogue: Introduction

    Reproduced with permission.



  29. Lunduke: Stallman & The FSF Respond To The Mob!

    A video response in support of RMS



  30. Links 12/4/2021: RSS Guard 3.9.2 and IBM-Funded Hacks Keep Attacking RMS

    Links for the day


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