03.16.10

Government Should Avoid Proprietary Software and ‘Clouds’

Posted in Apple, BSD, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vivek Kundra

Summary: Reporters wonder if Vivek Kundra (national CIO) can resist the temptation to just hand over government operations to private companies, some of which are abusive and dangerous to sovereignty

THE United States government should ideally deploy Free software, just as it used Drupal and LAMP to redo the official White House Web site. This gives the government full control of the software that it uses, which is crucial. Favouritism to some overpaid people who are hiding behind some company names is not an acceptable practice, especially given that the money comes from taxpayers and the government is often funded by those same companies that it returns favours to (Microsoft funded the Obama campaign for example).

According to this report, “Obama’s $79 Billion Tech Plan May Favor Web Programs”

Watch which companies are being listed:

Microsoft, Google and Amazon.com Inc. are all offering more databases and programs online, allowing customers to curb storage costs. Sharing software and data that way would shrink U.S. storage needs, helping to cut expenses after previous governments spent more than $500 billion on data centers and other technology initiatives in the past decade, Kundra said.

The government is able to employ its own IT staff that will build and maintain systems that are based on Free software. There is no need for a Microsoft or a Google or an Amazon.com. If businesses choose to do trade with them, that’s fine. It’s their choice. But governments are different, they are inherently obliged not to become just an extension of commerce for reasons we won’t go into.

“Steve Ballmer visits the White House a little too much given that he is not a politician (or isn’t supposed to act as one because he was never elected).”As we have already shown, Steve Ballmer visits the White House a little too much [1, 2] given that he is not a politician (or isn’t supposed to act as one because he was never elected). Ballmer and Obama’s CIO may have met at a university recently and Investor Spot now asks: “Will Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft & Obama’s Administration Share A Cloud?”

This would be a total farce if it became true. Likewise, as Apple/Mac developers find out that they are merely being exploited, one person finds it worthwhile to say (in IDG): “It’s time to end government-funded iPhone apps (and curb Apple’s control-freak tendencies)”

Now we’ve got Apple’s Developer License Agreement with terms so controlling that developers must seek prior approval from Apple before even commenting on the license itself. We only know this because the Electronic Frontier Foundation snared a copy from NASA via a Freedom of Information Act request (view PDF on the EFF site. Apparently, federal law still trumps Apple’s corporate attempts at secrecy. At least for now.

NASA also appears to have been intruded by Microsoft boosters [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], who in turn use NASA to block/turn away GNU/Linux and BSD users.

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”

Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

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

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 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

    Links for the day



  2. A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

    Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity



  3. Perception of Difficulty

    New poem by figosdev



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 26, 2020



  5. Cartoon: After Gambling With Workers' Savings the EPO Can Do Real Estate

    New EPO cartoon from EPO insiders (the one on the right certainly looks a lot like António Campinos and the one on the left can be his EUIPO ‘import’ or Benoît Battistelli‘s INPI ‘import’)



  6. Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

    It's important to remind people that so-called 'free' services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that 'farm' their so-called 'users') aren't really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives



  7. [Meme] UPC's Pyrrhic Victory

    Contrary to what Team UPC says, what happened earlier today is hardly a breakthrough



  8. Many Thanks to Free Software, the Demise of Software Patents (in Europe and the US), and So Much More

    On a positive note we're heading into the end of November, one month before Boxing Day; we take stock of patent affairs that impact software developers



  9. Links 26/11/2020: PHP 8.0, Proxmox VE 6.3, UNIGINE 2.13

    Links for the day



  10. 29,000 Blog Posts and Recent Site Improvements

    Over 29,000 blog posts have been posted here, but more importantly we've made the site a lot more robust and resilient, accessible in more formats and protocols (while improving transparency, too)



  11. [Meme] Trump is Out. Now It's Time to Pressure the Biden Administration/Transition Team on Software Freedom Issues.

    The Biden transition is in motion and tentative appointments are underway, based on news reports (see our Daily Links); now is the time to put pressure, e.g. in the form of public backlash, to ensure it's not just another corporate presidency



  12. Boycott ZDNet Unless You Fancy Being Lied to

    ZDNet's Catalin Cimpanu continues to lead the way with misinformation and lies, basically doing whatever he was doing to land that job at ZDNet (after he had done the same elsewhere)



  13. The UPC and Unitary Patent Song

    On goes the UPC symphony, as the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is almost here, always coming "real soon!"



  14. Open Letter to the German Greens on UPC and Software Patents: Don’t Betray Your Voters and Your Promises, or You Will Regret it

    Dear Members of the German Greens in the Bundestag. By Benjamin HENRION.



  15. [Meme] One Step Away From Replacing Patent Examiners With 'Hey Hi' (AI)

    If it's not legal for 'Hey Hi' (AI) to get a patent, why should it be legal for patents to be granted by those who are invisible (and sometimes in de facto house arrest)?



  16. European Patent Office (EPO) Reduced to 'Justice Over the Telephone' and Decree by E-mail

    The EPO is trashing the EPC and everything that the Office was supposed to stand for, as it wrongly assumes demand for monopolies (typically from foreign corporations) comes before the rule of law and Europe's public interest



  17. Making Free Software Work for Users

    The latest reply to a non-developer concerned about software freedom; guest post by figosdev



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 25, 2020



  19. Links 26/11/2020: AV Linux 2020.11.23 and Blender 2.91 Release

    Links for the day



  20. Links 25/11/2020: GamerOS and Biden Transition in Motion

    Links for the day



  21. An Orwellian December

    With December around the corner and states tightening the screws on the population (or employers on employees) at least we can look forward to spring



  22. The Non-Technical (or Lesser Technical) Software User That Wants Software Freedom

    Assuming that Free software should care about what users — not only developers — really want (and need) it’s important to understand how they view the current situation (with growing waves of corporate takeover and compromises, even expulsions)



  23. The European Patent Office Should be Run by Patent Examiners (Scientists), Not Politicians

    Europe would be better off (and patent quality much improved) had people with an actual grasp of science and reality were in charge of the EPO, not a money-chasing kakistocracy (which is what we have now)



  24. Member of the EPO's Boards of Appeal Explains Why VICOs (or ViCo/Video Conferences/Virtual 'Hearings') Are Not Suitable for Justice

    It's interesting to hear (or see/read) what people inside the EPO have to say about the "new normal" when they enjoy a certain level of anonymity (to avert retribution)



  25. Open Source Initiative (OSI) Co-founder Bruce Perens: Open Invention Network (OIN) is Protecting the Software Patent System From Reform and OSI Approves Faux 'Open' Licences (Openwashing)

    Richard Stallman was right about the OSI and the fake 'movement' that claims to have 'coined' the term "Open Source" (it wasn't a new term at all; it had been used in another context and the Free software community spoke of things like "Open Hardware" years earlier)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 24, 2020



  27. Making JavaScript Suck Less

    "Other than that, the first rule of JavaScript is: Do not use JavaScript. But this article is for people who break the first rule."



  28. Microsoft 'Moles' Inside WINE Project? WINE Should Bring Windows Users to GNU/Linux, Not the Other Way Around.

    The press release above (link omitted, it was pinned in several sites) is a cause for concern; after Microsoft infiltrated OSI and the Linux Foundation (both are now GitHub boosters, in effect diverting projects to Microsoft’s proprietary monopoly) it’ll be important to watch this space



  29. Links 25/11/2020: Raspberry Pi 400 With Touchscreens, Animation Framework in GTK/GNOME

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] Things Will Get Amusing When/If EPO Proceedings Are Cancelled Due to Patent Trolls Suing the Platforms Using Software Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    The management of the EPO is so proud to be granting illegal software patents in Europe; this clear abuse of authority can come back to bite it in the rear


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