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[News] A Look at UK Government's Approach to Free Software

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Software vendors and the UK Government: how to peer behind the scenes

,----[ Quote ]
| The Spencer System allows the Open Source advocate to counter the 
| machinations of the cosy relationships between established vendors and 
| government.  



Tories call for health computer systems cuts

,----[ Quote ]
| Mr O'Brien insisted that "open source" systems could be more secure. We guess
| he means open source database software run by government offices, not
| inviting all the world's under-employed programmers to rewrite the UK's NHS
| software systems.


Conservatives publish NHS IT policy pledges

,----[ Quote ]
| The Conservatives say they "welcome these conclusions" in part because they
| are "consistent with our plans to free the NHS from Labour's central control
| and interference so that it is locally accountable to patients and can focus
| on improving the results of their treatment".


Archives names expert as new FOIA ombudsman

,----[ Quote ]
| Miram Nisbet has been hired to head the Office of Government Information
| Services, which is housed at the National Archives and Records
| Administration. The ombudsman's office was created by the 2007 amendments to
| the Freedom of Information Act to be an intermediary between government
| agencies and requesters.


Transparency against malpractic

,----[ Quote ]
| As a result of my new enthusiasm to 'get out more' I found myself listening
| to a detailed and balanced 'non-advocacy' presentation from a respected OSS
| Watch staffer.
| He explained patiently how open source licencing worked and how it differed
| from proprietary licences. But what he did say whilst looking for an everyday
| resonance to make his points accessible to a non-geek audience, and which
| really sharpened every-one's attention, was that proprietary software was
| built on secret code whereas open source software had transparent code.
| Proprietary software IS composed of secret code. You can't read it, you don't
| know what it does (other than what you can see it do), you don't know how it
| does it and you can't change it.

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