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

12.18.13

Governments Increasingly Leaning Towards Free Software in the Wake of NSA Scandals and Economic Pressures

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software at 10:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New examples of governments’ embrace of Free/libre software, despite bribes from software oligarchs like Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle

NOT only South Korea ponders a migration to freedom-respecting software. Quietly (for fear of interference from software oligarchs) some governments around the world are moving to Free/libre programs, one program/piece at a time. Several people have told us that they are aware of this happening in Finland and it sure is happening in the UK. Among the migrations that we are publicly told about here are some that made headlines.

We previous wrote about what Microsoft was doing in Hungary (Ballmer got egged there for corruption) and now there are signs of an Hungarian shift towards Free/libre software [1], based on this English translation. There was something similar happening in Polynesia, where the same source says activists worked to make a difference and “the local Linux Users’ Group had distributed 5000 CDs” [2]. Watch how GNU/Linux usage soared to double-digit (%) figures. In the United States, as one might expect, things are a bit more murky [3,4] as proprietary software oligarchs have a lot of influence (they usually come from there and they have moles in positions of power).

In the UK, the Universal Credit chief cannot keep lying [5], so moves to Free/libre software are seen, echoing what we see in Budapest (Hungary) [6]. We previously compared the UK and HU (Hungary) policy, saying that it was not being actively followed. This in itself is a form of corruption. There are a couple of new articles in europa.eu about Hungary’s slow embrace of Free/libre software [7,8]. This is a logical move [9], which is being followed by south American countries [10], US allies like Australia [11], and even the US itself [12] (to a limited extent, usually in the military industrial complex which wants real security only for itself). Over in the government France, where mischief is seemingly more common than people care to realise [13], there are sign of progress also [14].

Given these slow strides towards software freedom it is easier to become optimists and hope that within a few years taxpayers will get to see (and use or even redistribute) the software that are paying for. For the public sector the rules should be very different from whatever applies to private businesses. Governments, for example, are liable if not indebted to the taxpayers. Citizens’ interests and collective will should drive procurement. We now know (with evidence) that Microsoft bribes government officials in exchange for pricey deals (IBM and Oracle also got caught), so we expect many deals to be signed for the benefit of corrupt politicians, not the nations which they claim to represent.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Latest Hungarian Revolution
  2. The FIght For Free Software In French Polynesia

    It may seem strange to think of war in a tropical paradise but it’s happening, thanks to M$’s global conspiracy to prevent free use of personal computers. In 2008, the local Linux Users’ Group had distributed 5000 CDs of FLOSS and caused quite a spike in usage. Wintel fought back but today

  3. Open-Source Benefits to Govt Outweigh Misconceptions, Report Says

    Security challenges, lack of education, interoperability concerns and licensing and legal concerns are some of the top obstacles government officials see for adopting open-source software in agencies, according to a survey in a recent report from GovLoop.

    In the survey of 233 government professionals, 73 percent mentioned security issues, 60 percent lack of education, 58 percent interoperability concerns and 50 percent licensing and legal concerns. They survey focused on U.S. respondents but also included some respondents from outside the U.S.

  4. Koha wins trademark stoush with US defence contractor

    After a protracted legal battle, the Horowhenua Library Trust, the birthplace of the open source Koha integrated library system, has succeeded in preventing an American defence contractor from poaching its trademark.

  5. Open source ‘wasn’t available’ two years ago, says Universal Credit chief

    The head of delivery for the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) flagship welfare reform project, Universal Credit, has said that the department didn’t adopt open source and web-based technologies at the beginning of the project because “such things weren’t available” two and a half years ago.

    Howard Shiplee told the Work and Pensions Committee this week that the department is now using open source technologies in its enhanced version of Universal Credit, which was initially developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS) and will be rolled out nationally by 2017 for most claimants.

    The existing system being used in pathfinder pilots and developed by the likes of IBM, HP and Accenture will be largely be replaced by the digital version.

  6. Budapest District Loves FLOSS
  7. Budapest district debunks misgivings over open source

    Habits and anxieties are holding back public administrations from switching to free software, says Tivadar Karay, head of the IT department of the 18th district of Budapest. The district commonly uses this type of ICT solutions, and has been for the past five years: “For pretty much everything, there is an open source alternative. Fear is unnecessary.”

  8. Hungary’s open source centre kicks off website

    The Hungarian government’s resource centre on open source unveiled its new site in mid-November, kicking off the next phase in the centre’s activities, focussing on information dissemination. Last week the centre organised its first conference in the capital Budapest, opened by Gábor Fekete, deputy secretary of state. In the next few weeks, the centre’s six staffers will be travelling around the country, presenting on the advantages of free and open source in the country’s largest cities, Győr, Szeged, Debrecen and Pécs.

  9. Using Free/Libre Open Source Software Is A “No-Brainer”

    It’s obvious but there are still some people who don’t understand that FLOSS is the right way to do IT:

    Using software you can run any way you want is the right way to do IT.
    Using software you can examine in detail to see how it works is the right way to do IT.
    Using software you can modify is the right way to do IT.
    Using software you can distribute is the right way to do IT.

  10. Roundup: Ecuador open-source software, Brazil antitrust, Venezuela TDT applications

    An open-source software forum has been held in Ecuadorian capital Quito, with a focus on how governments in the region can collaborate to develop open-source…

  11. Open source option wins WA cloud deal

    The Western Australian Institute for Medical Research will today take ownership of a private cloud solution built almost entirely of open source technologies to prepare for an influx of researchers over the coming weeks.

  12. Federal Agencies Embracing Use Of Open Source Software Code

    Federal agencies that previously relied on expensive, built-to-order software are now following a growing trend to embrace open source code.

  13. French agency caught minting SSL certificates impersonating Google
  14. French Isère department encourages open source use

    The Isère department in France’s Rhône-Alpes region is encouraging its public administrations to use free and open source software. In October, the Secretary-General of the prefecture sent a letter to all local authorities. The letter included a warning to make sure procurement requests do not include discriminatory requirements.

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 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  3. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  4. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  5. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  6. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  7. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  8. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  9. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  10. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  11. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  12. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  13. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  14. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  15. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  16. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  17. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  18. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  19. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  20. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  21. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  22. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  24. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  25. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  26. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  30. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong


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