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Weblog:   The Growing Politicization of Open Source
Subject:   Linux and Politics
Date:   2002-08-17 10:10:18
From:   rmoliva
I am in agreement that we should not see our government mandate that Open Source Software be used everywhere in Government.


Rather as mentioned it should be legislated in such a way that OSS is an excellent alternative to be looked at by government's everywhere and used where applicable.


In the same light, the proposed legislation by the governments of Peru,and now being considered in the California bill, could be the backlash of to many years of Microsoft stuffing their products down the government's throat without considering the long term consequences of their inactions in the areas of security, and licensing, etc.


I do applaude those who are taking a stance against those things Microsoft, but let's be realistic, no one wants to have their government,local or national, to dictate what the worksrs can cannot use to be productive at work.


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  • Linux and Politics
    2002-08-18 05:44:02  cmartinez4u [View]

    "no one wants to have their government,local or national, to dictate what the worksrs can cannot use to be productive at work."
    WHY NOT?
    Tell me one company that let their workers use what they want to be more productive?
    Remember their trying to mandate:
    - Free access to public information by the citizen.
    - Permanence of public data.
    - Security of the State and citizens.

    To guarantee the free access of citizens to public information, it is indespensable that the encoding of data is not tied to a single provider. The use of standard and open formats gives a guarantee of this free access, if necessary through the creation of compatible free software.

    To guarantee the permanence of public data, it is necessary that the usability and maintenance of the software does not depend on the goodwill of the suppliers, or on the monopoly conditions imposed by them. For this reason the State needs systems the development of which can be guaranteed due to the availability of the source code.

    To guarantee national security or the security of the State, it is indispensable to be able to rely on systems without elements which allow control from a distance or the undesired transmission of information to third parties. Systems with source code freely accessible to the public are required to allow their inspection by the State itself, by the citizens, and by a large number of independent experts throughout the world. It will bring further security, since the knowledge of the source code will eliminate the growing number of programs with *spy code*.

    Please read the "Peruvian congressman's open letter to Microsoft" it's a worldwide known masterpiece, that will answer all your questions about Open Source Movement and the Government.

    • Linux and Politics
      2002-08-18 07:08:28  jsotack [View]

      You can legislate
      "- Free access to public information by the citizen.
      - Permanence of public data. - Security of the State and citizens."

      Without legislating the end solution. How many government orgainizations have you seen distribute information ONLY in a format that requires expensive SW to view.? There ar always HTML, PDF.

      Hence, the requirement could be that certain types of information be distributed in a way (of the orgainisations choosing) that uses a free viewer.

      In thie case where maintainance is a concern, you simply need to be able to convert to a different format. I suppose you could have a reqiurement that the generating information be robostly save information in an open format (xml?).

      JOhn
  • Linux and Politics
    2002-09-03 14:04:07  anthonyhunt [View]

    rmoliva wrote: "no one wants to have their government,local or national, to dictate what the worksrs can cannot use to be productive at work."

    That's arguable but it's not what this argument is about. This argument goes far far wider, into issues such as liability, quality, collective usability and security, just to name a few. It's about governments agreeing a way forward... hence legislating rather than leaving it up to successive governments to make decisions on an ad hoc basis.

    In other words, I think, governments shouldn't be mandating the use of open source either. All they need to do is mandate that software producers take liability for any faults in their products OR include the source code.

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