03.23.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Bruce Perens Sheds Light on How Microsoft Controls the Government, Using Lobbyists

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, OSI at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] 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

Richard Stallman and the GPLv3

Bruce Perens at the launch event of GPLv3

Summary: Bruce Perens explains what he has seen Microsoft doing inside governments in order to marginalise Free software, mostly through hired guns like CompTIA and ACT

MICROSOFT IS A political problem, not just a technical problem. In previous posts we showed how Microsoft controls the United States government (along with other proprietary software companies), but it’s not just a problem in the United States.

For those who are not familiar with Bruce Perens, here are some of our posts that mention him:

Perens has just published this post about government legislation where he writes:

Equal Representation, and Visibility of Lobbying

It’s been obvious, whenever I talk with government, that there’s a well-staffed Microsoft lobbying organization nearby, as well as intermediaries who act for them like CompTIA. Against them, there’s been a low or no-budget representation for Open Source, sometimes just me all alone. And of course the proprietary software companies can afford more advertising and they create lavish events to promote themselves.

To level out this situation, and many others, we need required public reporting of all lobbying, including the parties present, the time and duration of the meeting, and the topics discussed. The general public should be able to see that information on the internet with no more than a day’s delay, if they are to have a chance to offset the effect of the deep-pockets lobbyists.

In addition, there needs to be legislation protecting and promoting the access of the less-grandly-funded to those in government who have or will receive other lobbies, so that there can be balance of representation.

The only group he mentions by name is CompTIA, whose corruption of the political system and standards body we have documented in many past posts. Bruce Perens has already responded to ACT, which is another Microsoft front group (Perens knows that). Both groups happen to have lobbied intensively against ODF and for OOXML. Given Microsoft’s history of corruption when it comes to document formats, nobody should be surprised that Microsoft uses outside lobbying groups. From Italy we hear that this corruption never ends. Posted some days ago:

Microsoft, where did you get those data about OpenDocument?

[...]

I already explained in another article that open file formats are essential to save money in Public Administrations and make them more efficient and that the right choice for office document is the OpenDocument Format (ODF).

Since I regularly follow these themes, in September 2009 I received this request from outside Italy:

I have read in a report that: “According to Microsoft Italian regional authorities have examined ODF, but proposal for adopting ODF as the mandatory standard have been rejected” (translated by the sender of the message). This fact probably comes from this Microsoft paper. And we are trying to fact check it… can you help?

Back then I knew, just as I know today, that there is no law or regulation in Italy, not even at the city level, that mandates ODF as the only accepted format for office documents, regardless of the context. What I did come across in the last year, instead, were cases where nobody seemed to know about ODF or law proposals that, albeit unvoluntarily, may make the situation even worse. However, I did not remember ever reading about proposals of that kind.

Over in the UK, the story is similar but Microsoft’s lobbying groups are slightly different. Tim Anderson, a British Microsoft booster, gives lip service to a company which says that the UK government only gives lip service to F/OSS. Anderson writes about the claims from Ingres:

Ingres has a direct commercial interest in this, of course, so such statements are not surprising. Shine has a point though. It takes more than a few speeches to change the software culture of the myriad departments and other state-run entities that between them compose government IT.

Anderson is being an apologist here. It’s not just about Ingres getting a contract; it’s about a nation sticking to standards and to code that it actually owns and is allowed to modify and redistribute. It’s about the United Kingdom not being a hostage of some convicted monopoly abuser from the United States. There is no need for Microsoft apologists here, as they seem not to comprehend the very fundamental issues. The same goes for accomplices like BECTA, who take a similar approach of lip service. They try to silence opposition this way.

“It is crooked politicians like Luc Pierre Devigne and Pedro Velasco-Martins who allow this to happen.”Earlier today we posted videos from yesterday's event about ACTA, which Richard Stallman calls “Anti-Citizen Tyranny Agreement”. It shows how few super-wealthy corporations (mostly from the United States, but there is one Vivendi employee praising ACTA from the audience) take control of the law and actually run the governments against the people. It is crooked politicians like Luc Pierre Devigne and Pedro Velasco-Martins who allow this to happen. Given increased transparency, we can more effectively expose the conspirators involved in these unconstitutional steps that countries are taking to pass control to other counties (specifically to corporations in other countries). Here in the UK we have Mandelson with his Digital Economy Bill (DEB).

Leila Deen and Lord Mandelson
“Business secretary Peter Mandelson is slimed by an environmental protestor outside the Royal Society on Carlton House Terrace, Pall Mall after allegations of ‘favours for friends’ over the Heathrow third runway decision” [Courtesy of “Plane Stupid”, via Wikimedia]

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.

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 26, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: Bruce Perens Explains How #Microsoft Controls the #Government , Using Lobbyists http://ur1.ca/rcmu #act #comptia…

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  3. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  4. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  5. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  7. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  9. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  10. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  11. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  12. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  13. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  14. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  16. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  17. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  18. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  19. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  20. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  22. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  23. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

    The nihilists who run the EPO want a monopoly on holiday greetings; to make matters worse, they’re censoring staff representatives in their intranet whilst inconsistently applying said policies



  24. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  25. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)



  26. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

    Links for the day



  27. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics



  28. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022



  30. 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux

    A psychopathic Microsoft, aided by operatives inside the mainstream and so-called 'tech' media, keeps spreading old and invalid stigma about "Linux" and Free software; few people still bother responding to these fact-free FUD campaigns, which boil down to ‘perception management’ PR/propaganda


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