EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.20.10

La Quadrature du Net and the FFII (EU) Respond to the European Commission’s Digital Agenda

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Standard at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Neelie Kroes
Credit: World Economic Forum
(Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence)

Summary: European freedom and rights groups are concerned about the deal Neelie Kroes is getting after lobbyists got involved

EARLIER this month we pointed out that the Commission's agenda got derailed by lobbyists of proprietary software companies, notably Microsoft and SAP. We had named some of the culprits in posts such as:

  1. European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
  2. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  3. Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
  4. The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
  5. 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
  6. After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
  7. Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists
  8. ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
  9. Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”
  10. With Friends Like These, Who Needs Microsoft?

Clearly there is pressure on the Commission to abandon the notion that open standards are a desirable thing (Free software aside, but that’s important too) and La Quadrature du Net suspects that our freedoms are at stake. Their latest statement is summarised as follows:

On Tuesday May 18th, the Commission’s Digital Agenda will be released. This important document will define the European Union’s future policies on the Internet and other communications technologies. A leaked draft showed that major policy orientations remained to be arbitrated in advance of the release. Although much of the document puts forward very sensible and positive proposals, potential mentions of dogmatic copyright enforcement and Internet filtering could be sneaked in the final document at the last minute. Will the rights and freedoms of EU citizens be protected?

Groklaw too has responded to the Digital Agenda (Groklaw‘s editorship is US-oriented) and Microsoft is named:

That last part means that Microsoft could implement an open international standard like ODF if it wanted to, despite being a proprietary software business. So far, it doesn’t do so in a way that really works, and the only obstacle I know of, as reflected in their remarks about Google Docs, is a lack of a desire to actually do so.

The FFII‘s press release can be found below. That statement too makes it clear that Europeans are dissatisfied and wish to know which lobbyists are responsible for subverting a document which was intended to defend their freedoms, not the freedom of action for multinational corporations whose lobbyists (whom we named) took over the process.

Europe requires open standards and software freedom. Unless these are prescribed, neither requirement will be obeyed and there will be chaos like this new example:

A year ago, i wrote about how New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) requires the use of Internet Explorer to apply online (and it even appears to require IE just to download the PDF of the application!)

In this particular case we witness how a governmental programme becomes inaccessible to those who adhere to standards and are using Free software (as opposed to non-Free software from one particular company which was found guilty of crimes several times). The European Commission will hopefully not permit repetition of mistakes that are seen across the pond. Recommendation of Free software and open standards which everyone can master is a basic right; to do anything else is to use the sovereign nations to empower private entities of choice at the expense of everybody else.


Neelie Kroes’ Digital Agenda is ‘carrot without stick’

Brussels, 20 May 2010 — Yesterday EU-Commissioner Neelie Kroes disclosed her long-expected Digital Agenda for Europe. The Digital Agenda spans a 10-year period of upcoming European Commission policies in the digital sphere including ambitious regulatory initiatives. The FFII points out that her strategy document falls short on good governance and open standards.

“I would like Kroes to name the corporations that were lobbying behind closed doors for a removal of open standards.”
      –Benjamin Henrion
A “Digital Agenda Assembly”, an annual lobby-parliament to govern the agenda implementation, would be composed of delegates from the European Parliament and industry. The Assembly would bring them together to ‘assess progress and emerging challenges’ and receive input from a ‘High Level Group’ and ‘stakeholders’.

“Neelie Kroes feeds her ambitious Digital Agenda as raw meat to lobby groups. It is a carrot without stick”, warns René Mages from the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII). Mages continues, “The Commissioner undermines the dignity of the European elected representatives by setting them on equal footing with private interest representatives.” The FFII fears her governance principles would aggravate the trend to keep the backbone of the European ICT sector, small and medium-sized companies, from having significant influence in Brussels.

“Take open standards for example”, comments FFII president Benjamin Henrion. “Earlier drafts of the Commission’s Digital Agenda featured ‘open standards’ but interest groups managed to eliminate the phrase during inter-service consultations. I would like Kroes to name the corporations that were lobbying behind closed doors for a removal of open standards. Brussels should be transparent and be willing to reveal the elephant in the room.”

Links

EU Commission Digital Agenda website: The Commission intends to “work closely with national governments, concerned organisations and companies.”
http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital…

EU Digital Agenda:
http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital…

Permanent link to this press release:
http://press.ffii.org/Press%20releases/Neelie…

Contact

Benjamin Henrion
FFII Brussels
+32-484-56 61 09 (mobile)
bhenrion at ffii.org
(French/English)

FFII Berlin
+49-30-41722597
office at ffii.org
(German/English)

About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in many European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  2. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  3. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  4. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  5. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  6. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  7. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  8. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  9. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  10. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  11. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  12. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  13. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  14. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  15. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  17. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  18. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  19. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  20. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  21. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  22. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  23. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  24. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  25. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  26. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  27. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  28. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  29. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  30. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts