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06.03.14

Newcastle Pays for Back Doors From Microsoft Rather Than Procure Freedom-respecting Software From Local (British) Companies

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 10:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Newcastle wraps itself in shackles for the next three years

Newcastle

Summary: The latest example of the British public sector snubbing local software companies, instead bringing malicious software from abroad (land of economic and political espionage) via a local proxy (reseller)

Three years ago I traveled to Newcastle in order to configure GNU/Linux servers there; I was surrounded by a Windows-dominated environment and a systems administrator who was only skilled enough to handle Microsoft stuff. The sad thing is that in the public and private sector in the UK there is a lot of software with NSA back doors, including (and primarily) Microsoft software.

According to this news report, the latest Newham-style nonsense has spread to Newcastle, with cost analysis totally ignoring the worth of security and autonomy. To quote the article: “Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council has chosen to renew its enterprise agreement with Microsoft rather than opt for cloud-based service provision or open source products.”

Well, cloud-based services usually mean “surveillance-friendly” or “surveillance-ready”, so these are not the real alternative anymore. The article continues: “The deal, for the provision of software assurance and server licences through a certified reseller for the next three years, replaces the council’s previous five year Microsoft Enterprise Agreement which expired on 31st May 31.

“The renewal, which commenced 1st June, will ensure that the corporation’s desktops and servers can be used and updated within legal requirements.

Why choose spyware and why not explore Free/Open Source software? Well, the article says: “Having considered options such as subscription-based agreements, cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) provision and open source products, which are already in use by the council for its anti-virus and email filtering systems, Newcastle-under-Lyme decided it was better to renew its existing agreement – expected to total £263,284 in costs over its three-year lifetime.”

This does not even seem to cover support. They have just paid for spyware to go inside their server room/s, negatively affecting many British citizens. Did they even consult the public at all? As Munich has demonstrated, nobody needs Microsoft in the public sector; all it does it spy on everything and everyone.

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