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Weblog:   The Growing Politicization of Open Source
Subject:   Misunderstandings
Date:   2002-08-16 16:13:33
From:   korwin
Response to: Misunderstandings

"According to all these projects, no official would be punished by licensing propietary software [1,2] as far as he/she can convincingly prove that no free/open-source solution exists for his/her needs."


First, this assumes that open-source software and free software are the same thing. Shouldn't this be rewritten as "no official would be punished by licensing propietary software [1,2], as far as he/she can convincingly prove that no free solution (whether open- or closed-source) exists for his/her needs."?


Second, this puts the price of the software solution as the most important factor. What about the scenario where there is open-source software that is free and will do the job, but nobody can guarantee that it is secure enough and would not pose risk for the IT infrastructure of the government? Should this software be preferred to a closed-source software whose vendor is willing to guarantee the security of it's solution?


The open source does not intrinsically guarantee any of these principles:


* Free access to public information.
* Permanence of public data.
* Security of the State and citizens.


Furthermore, the open source software has nothing to do with these principles. Will any open source program actually guarantee to me that the public data will be permanent or secure if maintained by it to the degree that i could sue the software vendor (who would that be in the case of gcc btw)? In fact, these bills in it's current form put the second and the third principles at stake since they mandate that the government officials make their choice based on whether the software is open source and free and not whether it conforms to any levels of acceptance (as it should be).


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  1. Misunderstandings -- replying Korbin's objections
    2002-08-16 17:04:18  cinabrium [View]

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