PublicMoney? PublicCode!

               

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OW2 Supports the FSFE Campaign

September 18, 2017


Digital services offered and used by public administrations are the critical infrastructure of 21st-century democratic nations. To establish trustworthy systems, government agencies must ensure they have full control over systems at the core of our digital infrastructure. This is rarely the case today due to restrictive software licenses.

Why is tax-funded software not published as Free Software? OW2 supports the Public Money? Public Code! campaign steered by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). Sign the Open Letter!

We request laws that require software developed with public money for public administrations to be released under a free software and open source license. If it is public money, the code should also be public!

Public institutions spend millions of euros each year on the development of new software tailored to their needs. The procurement choices of the public sector play a significant role in determining which companies are allowed to compete and what software is supported with tax payers' money. Public administrations on all levels frequently have problems sharing code with each other, even if they funded its complete development. Furthermore, without the option for independent third parties to run audits or other security checks on the code, sensible citizen data is at risk.

"We need software that fosters the sharing of good ideas and solutions. Only like this will we be able to improve IT services for people all over Europe. We need software that guarantees freedom of choice, access, and competition. We need software that helps public administrations regain full control of their critical digital infrastructure, allowing them to become and remain independent from a handful of companies," says Matthias Kirschner, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe.

That is why the signatories call on representatives all around Europe to modernize their digital infrastructure to allow other public administrations, companies, or individuals to freely use, study, share and improve applications developed with public money. Thereby providing safeguards for the public administration against being locked down to services from specific companies that use restrictive licences to hinder competition, and ensuring that the source code is accessible so that back doors and security holes can be fixed without depending on only one service provider.

OW2's board members voted to commit OW2 in favour of the campaign and calls on its members to support it. 

Further information