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. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    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