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

01.24.14

Amid NSA Scandals and Revelations Delhi Government and European Governments Are Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

Posted in Site News at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A torrent of migrations and policy changes (facilitating imminent migrations) serve software freedom, not just in lip service but also in practice

TIMES are exciting for Free/libre software, especially if you work with the public sector (as my wife and I do). Governments are rapidly moving towards software that can be audited, partly motivated by scandals that revolve around pricing/lock-in, privacy, and digital autonomy (independence from developers abroad).

To give some recent examples of success stories and transformations, the Delhi government is about to switch to Free software following Stallman’s visit [1] and the German state of Schleswig-Holstein is following the footsteps [2] of Munich [3,4], which now uses GNU/Linux, not just Free software. Moving a little southwards, Regione Umbria (Italy) is moving to Free software [5], probably for financial reasons [6] and also a desire to conform to new policies [7-10]. Even here in the UK, which has traditionally been Microsoft-friedly, pro-FOSS policies are being made stronger [11-12] and it shows (hawks in Ireland get slammed for going the opposite way [13]).

Looking more broadly and generally, Red Hat recently wrote about “an open source policy that works in practice” [14] and Red Hat deserves credit for approaching politicians on these matters, making a real difference and inducing change. In European Parliament itself there are already changes under way [15] to address ill dependence on proprietary software that facilitates spying. After European parliamentarians found out that they had been spied on by the NSA, who can blame them? It’s espionage. No government should ever use proprietary software; it’s not just about transparency and savings (accountability to the public) but also national security. How can a nation depend on secret code from another country, or even secret code from a private company therein/within?

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Delhi government to switch to free software

    Delhi: Delhi government is set to opt for free software. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held initial discussions with free software guru Richard Stallman. The meeting was facilitated by Joseph C Mathew, former IT advisor to the Chief Minister of Kerala V S Achuthanandan, before he was shunted out falling foul of the powerful official faction of the CPI {M} in Kerala. The first phase will be introduced in the education sector. Significantly, this new initiative follows close on the heels of Kejriwal’s announcement that monopolies will not be allowed in the retail sector. Stallman said that he shared the philosophy of the Aam Aadmi Party.

  2. More and more open source in Schleswig-Holstein

    The German state of Schleswig-Holstein is gradually increasing its use of free and open source. “The use of this type of software solution has increased over the last years, mostly in the area of web and application servers”, a state spokesperson explains. ” We still rely on closed-source products as they are required for specific governmental applications.”

  3. Summing Up Munich’s Migration To GNU/Linux
  4. LiMux – the IT evolution – An open source success story like never before

    In a process spanning ten years the Munich city administration has migrated from a proprietary, vendor-locked IT structure to a free, open-source and flexible Linux-based solution. Although this could save the municipality millions of Euros, other reasons and benefits make the changeover even more attractive.

  5. Regione Umbria awarded for the migration to LibreOffice

    LibreUmbria, the migration project of Regione Umbria to LibreOffice, has been awarded a prize for innovation – for metholodology and process – as one of top 10 Italian government projects in 2012/2013.

  6. The Italian Diet Crisis
  7. Italy is latest to promote open source software in public procurements

    In December, the Italian government issued final rules implementing a change to procurement law that now requires all public administrations in the country to first consider re-used or free software before committing to proprietary licenses. Importantly, the new rules include an enforcement mechanism, which can, at least in theory, annul decisions that do not follow these procedures.

  8. Italy puts Free Software first in public sector
  9. Italy posts benchmark open vs closed software

    The Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale (AGID) on Wednesday posted the criteria and guidelines on how to compare open source and proprietary software. The document is to help public administrations to give priority to free and open source solutions, and to the re-use of software paid for by public administrations. As part of the preparation, AGID during the past year held several meetings with industry experts, including free software specialists.

  10. Italian govt agencies to consider Free Software before commercial software

    The Italian Digital Agency has recommended that its government’s agencies consider Free Software alternatives before purchasing licenses for commercial software.

    Recommendations like this tend to come from European governments, never from government agencies over here in our America, even though it will save a ton of money.

  11. Freedom In Software And Hardware At The UK Cabinet Office
  12. First steps on the Cabinet Office technology transformation journey

    Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has led the drive to change how technology is used across government, yet he has acknowledged that the IT used by staff in his own department is poor.

  13. Fine Gael calls for open source browser crackdown

    Irish politician Patrick O’Donovan of the Fine Gael party has called for a crackdown on open-source browsers, calling them a gateway to an ‘online black market’ filled with ‘illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and pornography’ – but may, perhaps, be merely confused as to his terminology.

  14. An open source policy that works in practice

    While many customers are aware of open source software and encourage its use, they are also wary of intellectual property contamination—which is alright and understandable. There are customers who do not want to be bothered regarding each and every tool used, while others are extremely concerned and put every open source tool or program through an approval process. The policy can be tuned as per each customer’s preference. For example, a set of commonly used tools may be listed and pre-approved in the Statement of Work or other agreement prior to the start of project.

  15. EP Green/EFA to use open source to secure email

    The Green/EFA Group in the European Parliament “is reaching out to the Free Software community”, in order to achieve trustworthy email encryption, the group announced this weekend. The political block objects to the mass surveillance by companies and governments, as disclosed the past year by Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the US’ National Security Agency. The group is starting a test, laptop computers running a tailored version of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.

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. When Google Used Alex Converse to Raid the Public Domain With Software Patents

    In its overzealous pursuit of software patents, Google is now turning public domain methods into private 'property' (in defiance of critics)



  2. Mark Kokes, the Man Behind BlackBerry's Patent Aggression, Leaves the Company

    The man behind the patent troll-like behaviour of BlackBerry is leaving



  3. WordPress Demonstrates That Facebook's Patent Strategy is Deterring/Alienating Developers

    React is being dumped following Facebook's attempt to restrict distribution/derivatives using software patents



  4. Links 19/9/2017: Pipewire, Mir Support for Wayland, DRM in W3C

    Links for the day



  5. Links 18/9/2017: Linux 4.14 RC1, Mesa 17.2.1, and GNOME 3.26 on Ubuntu Artful

    Links for the day



  6. Patent Trolls Update: Eolas, Conversant (MOSAID), Leigh Rothschild, and Electronic Communication Technologies

    Patent trolls are still being watched -- as they ought to be -- even though some of them shy away, hide from the media, engage in dirty tricks, and file more lawsuits



  7. Microsoft is Promoting Software Patents in India in Another Effort to Undermine Free/Open Source Software, Microsoft-Connected Trolls Are Still Suing

    The ongoing patent threat to Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) and the role played by Microsoft in at least much of this threat



  8. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Under Attack by IBM and Other Patent Parasites Who Undermine Patent Quality

    The PTAB, which has thus far invalidated thousands of abstract/software patents, is under a coordinated attack not by those who produce things but those who produce a lot of lawsuit



  9. Why the Mohawk Tribe Should Fire Its Lawyers and Dump the Patents Which Now Tarnish Its Name

    In order to dodge the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) with its Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs), the Mohawk tribe is being exploited -- very much in direct detriment to its reputation and status



  10. Amazon and Google Have Both Become Part of the Software Patents Problem

    The transition from so-called 'defensive' patents to offensive patents (ones that are used to suppress competition) as seen in Amazon and in Google, which is already suing rivals and is pursuing additional patents by acquisition



  11. Unless Physical, Inventions Are No Longer Patent-Eligible in US Courts, But USPTO Ignores Precedence

    Even though the ability to enforce software patents against a rival (or many targets, especially in the case of patent trolls) is vastly diminished, the US patent office continues to grant these



  12. Citing the European Patent Convention, Spanish Court Tosses Lawsuit With EPO-Granted European Patent

    The quality of European Patents (EPs) -- a subject of growing levels of scrutiny -- as demonstrated in Barcelona this summer



  13. Links 16/9/2017: More of “Public Money, Public Code”, Equifax Failed to Patch for Months

    Links for the day



  14. BlackBerry Has Turned Into a Patents and Licensing Company

    The Canadian company that made fairly reputable phones early in this century is left with nothing but the power to sue other companies -- a power to which it increasingly gravitates



  15. European Patent Office Continues to Paint a Rosy UPC Picture Even Though the UPC May Already be Dead

    The European Patent Office (EPO) doesn't let facts get in the way as another week passes with UPC promotion and further staff repressions



  16. Tax Evasion by Patent Boxes and Lies About Small Businesses (SMEs) in the Corporate Media

    The lobbying effort of the patent 'industry' -- and its largest beneficiaries -- paints its own perks as something that's intended for their small/minuscule competitors (whom they actually attempt to misrepresent and crush)



  17. Links 15/9/2017: Mesa 17.2.1 RC, Wine 2.17, WordPress to Ditch React Over Patents

    Links for the day



  18. The UPC Fantasy is Going Nowhere as Complaints and Paperwork Pile Up

    Many submissions and complaints about the Unitary Patent have time to arrive before the end of October as a decision on the matter seems as distant as 2018



  19. At Event of EPO SLAPP Firm, a Suggestion That the UPC Should be Scrapped Because It's Stuck

    Just like the TPP, the UPC is now in a potentially fatal deadlock, so people with a stake in the outcome consider starting again (almost from scratch)



  20. Watchtroll Helps the EPO Peddle Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn't happening; the EPO, however, keeps on pretending that it can already operate as though the UPC got the green light



  21. Links 14/9/2017: Plasma 5.11 Beta, Q4OS 1.8.8, Orion

    Links for the day



  22. Links 13/9/2017: Blender 2.79, Qt 5.10 Alpha, GNOME 3.26 “Manchester”, Parrot 3.8

    Links for the day



  23. Amazon's Infamous Patent is Dead and the World's Richest Man Failed to Fulfill His Promise on Software Patents

    Amazon continues piling up a lot of software patents even though its founder once pretended (only after enormous public backlash) that he would pursue far shorter terms for software patents



  24. EPO Gets Together With Patent Radicals to Promote Software Patents

    Watchtroll, a widely-known site of patent extremists with the agenda of promoting software patents, gets together with the EPO for a puff piece in the form of an "exclusive" interview



  25. Patent Boxes Are for Tax Avoidance, But in the Land of Tax Avoidance (Switzerland) No Avoidance for Software Patents

    The world leader in European Patents (EPs) refuses to acknowledge software patents or barely respects these



  26. Latest Attempts to Blow Air Into the Sails of the Sinking Unitary Patent (UPC)

    A survey of the latest media mentions and interpretations of the UPC, which don't quite stack up when compared to reality



  27. Links 12/9/2017: Linux 4.13.1, digiKam 5.7.0

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Maximalism Duo: Watchtroll and Patently-O Now Conjoined and Mutually Referencing One Another

    Radical sites like Watchtroll are spreading their ideology and harassment tactics to sites such as Patently-O, run by Dennis Crouch from the University of Missouri School of Law



  29. Complaints About Google Patents, R3 Patents, and the EFF's Campaign of Exposing/Disarming Patent Trolls

    A mix of interesting developments surrounding patents, including a nasty campaign by Dominion Harbor Group to smear patent reformers



  30. Latest Assaults on PTAB and More PTAB Bashing, This Time by Anticipat

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which helps eliminate patents granted in error (a lot of software patents), is still besieged by the patent 'industry'


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