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12.30.09

Kerala is Still Ahead of the Curve

Posted in Asia, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 5:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kerala Seal

Summary: Kerala’s use of Free/libre software in government is commendable, but barriers still remain (although not technical ones, just bureaucratic, including pressure from Microsoft)

IN the previous post we showed that President Hu was apparently bamboozled by brainwash from the patents lobby. It is important for diplomats to keep an open mind because and despite being clueless (for the most part) when it comes to technology.

Kerala’s move towards Free software was motivated by principles, not necessarily cost.

“They probably want diplomats to be Luddites — to decide on technology they cannot understand.”Few governments in the world have actually supplied their members with GNU/Linux laptops. France and some countries in south America are notable examples of these, Kerala being another. Considering the need for digital independence, this should not be surprising.

What happens in Kerala at the moment is quite encouraging because more high-level officials are receiving GNU/Linux-powered computers with Free software installed on them. As always, other than Microsoft (see links at the bottom), someone has to stand in their way and protest the acquisition of these laptops. Weird, eh?

They probably want diplomats to be Luddites — to decide on technology they cannot understand simply based on lobbies, not personal experience and deeper understanding. Proprietary software encourages this mode of thinking (renting, never owning). That’s how the world ends up with clueless bureaucrats like the ones we showed earlier, those with hopes of passing ACTA.

Rebentisch, a German, has written extensively in his blog about digital independence. He is not even keen on the European Commission’s/Parliament’s decision to send Google an enhanced copy of all the site visitors’ data, using the malicious worm known as “Analytics” (formerly Urchin). Today he is writing about access to the ACTA document. Too little, too late?

From a mere citizen perspective in a liberal-democratic order I feel slightly scared by the secrecy and policy laundry from DG Trade. It explains why TRIPs as a trade process was a very dangerous precedent. A huge scandal is characterized by the amount of complaints. Can there be a scandal without notice and uproar? We don’t have a good phrase for the silent case. While the interested public now pays closer attention to ACTA it is of course all negotiated in parallel with bilateral talks, for instance the Korea-EU Trade Agreement comprises ACTA provisions.

ACTA contains (bundles together) parts that relate to patents, notably TRIPS [1, 2, 3, 4] that can essentially murder people.

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