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[News] The European Commission and Neelie Kroes Come Under Pressure After Lobbyists Subvert Digital Agenda

  • Subject: [News] The European Commission and Neelie Kroes Come Under Pressure After Lobbyists Subvert Digital Agenda
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 09:37:38 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
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EU Commission: Will Kroes' Digital Agenda endanger freedoms?

,----[ Quote ]
| On Tuesday May 18th, the Commission's 
| Digital Agenda will be released. This 
| important document will define the 
| European Union's future policies on the 
| Internet and other communications 
| technologies. A leaked draft showed that 
| major policy orientations remained to be 
| arbitrated in advance of the release. 
| Although much of the document puts forward 
| very sensible and positive proposals, 
| potential mentions of dogmatic copyright 
| enforcement and Internet filtering could 
| be sneaked in the final document at the 
| last minute. Will the rights and freedoms 
| of EU citizens be protected?
`----

http://www.laquadrature.net/en/eu-commission-will-neelie-kroess-digital-agenda-endanger-freedoms

The EU Commission's Digital Agenda Plan 

,----[ Quote ]
| That last part means that Microsoft could 
| implement an open international standard 
| like ODF if it wanted to, despite being a 
| proprietary software business. So far, it 
| doesn't do so in a way that really works, 
| and the only obstacle I know of, as 
| reflected in their remarks about Google 
| Docs, is a lack of a desire to actually do 
| so.
`----

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100519144736798

NYC SYEP still requires Microsoft Software

,----[ Quote ]
| A year ago, i wrote about how New York 
| City's Summer Youth Employment Program 
| (SYEP) requires the use of Internet 
| Explorer to apply online (and it even 
| appears to require IE just to download the 
| PDF of the application!) 
`----

http://advogato.org/person/dkg/diary/33.html


Recent:

Under fire: Open Standards in the public sector

,----[ Quote ]
| You could be forgiven for thinking that
| Open Standards are a rather dull topic.
| Specifications are probably the most boring
| kind of reading known to man.Who will be
| able to read what you wrote? Who can you
| share documents with? Will you be able to
| read your own writings in the future, or
| will it all be locked into proprietary file
| formats developed by companies that have
| long since disappeared, leaving you sitting
| on a pile of digital toxic waste?
|
| [...]
|
| As far as we know, this sort of thing
| doesnât sit well with everyone in the
| European Commission. DG INFSO appears to be
| under huge pressure from other DGs to
| remove the reference to Open Standards from
| the text, and make it less ambitious
| overall.
|
| FSFE is active on both issues, talking to
| policy makers and calling public attention
| to the problem. Whatâs at stake here is the
| fate of Open Standards in Europeâs public
| sector in the coming years.
`----

http://blog.documentfreedom.org/2010/03/under-fire-open-standards-in-the-public-sector/


Back on the block and worse than ever: EIFv2

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission started updating
| the EIF in 2006, and called for public
| comments in the summer of 2008. Then, the
| document was still very strong on Open
| Standards, and gave clear directions to the
| European member states that wanted their
| public sector IT to be more efficient and
| vendor-independent.
|
| Until the  Business Software Alliance (BSA)
| got its hands on it.
|
| The Business Software Alliance is a lobby
| group of proprietary software vendors,
| backed above all by Microsoft. FSFE has
| prepared an overview page showing how the
| BSAâs demands are reflected in the latest
| draft of EIFv2.
|
| [...]
|
| In its current state, EIFv2 would do only
| one thing: Cement the vendor lock-in and
| network effects that are keeping too many
| public bodies from migrating to Free
| Software and Open Standards. FSFE is not
| the only group with serious concerns about
| the text. Open Forum Europe has written a
| strongly worded letter (.pdf) to Member
| States and the European Commission, calling
| for the document to be rejected.
`----

http://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=324


Ende der offenen IT-Standards fÃr Europa?

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Ende-der-offenen-IT-Standards-fuer-Europa-966614.html


Microsoft trying to gut EU IT policy, replacing open standards with proprietary junk - your letters needed!

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/03/29/microsoft-trying-to.html


Open Source and Open Standards under Threat in Europe

,----[ Quote ]
| Open source is under attack in Europe. Not
| openly or obviously, but in the background,
| behind closed doors. The battleground is
| the imminent Digital Agenda for Europe, due
| to be unveiled by the European Commission
| in a month's time, and which defines the
| overall framework for Europe's digital
| policy. According to people with good
| contacts to the politicians and bureaucrats
| drawing up the Agenda, Microsoft is
| lobbying hard to ensure that open standards
| and open source are excluded from that
| policy - and is on the brink of succeeding
| in that aim.
|
| [...]
|
| That's clearly very positive about open
| standards and open source. And then, back
| in November of last year, a draft version
| of the revised EIF was leaked [.pdf]. It
| revealed a staggering re-definition of what
| openness meant by suggesting that âclosedâ
| was part of the âopenness continuumâ...
|
| [...]
|
| The extraordinary gulf between the original
| and proposed versions of the EIF gives us
| perhaps a hint of what is going on behind
| the scenes, but on its own might not be
| sufficient grounds for concern about the
| Digital Agenda itself. But last week a
| series of worrying tweets were posted by
| David Hammerstein, whose Twitter bio is
| âEuropean Advocate for Transatlantic
| Consumer Dialogue. Spanish Green Member
| European Parliament 2004-2009â. They read
| as follows:
|
| SOS to everyone as sources confirm that
| Kroes is about to eliminate "open
| standards" policy from EU digital agenda
|
| Kroes has been under intense lobbying
| pressure from Microsoft to get rid of
| interoperability and open source goals of
| EU
|
| Kroes wanted the EU institutions to
| practice what it preaches and migrate to
| open standards in its own software. Big
| backlash
|
| DG enterprise and "revolving door" EC
| officials from Microsoft torpedo
| Commissioner Kroes open proposals. Coup in
| process.
|
| As to those âsourcesâ he mentions, I've
| been following Hammerstein for a while on
| Twitter, and he does seem to have very good
| contacts within the European Union machine
| â doubtless from his time as an MEP.
| Moreover, the French site PC Inpact not
| only confirms Hammerstein's fears, but it
| has also managed to get hold of a copy of
| the draft Agenda.
`----

http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=2878


EIFv2: Tracking the loss of interoperability

http://fsfe.org/projects/os/eifv2.en.html


Tracking the loss of interoperability

http://arebentisch.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/tracking-the-loss-of-interoperability/


SOS Open Standards in EU digital agenda

,----[ Quote ]
| STOP THE ELIMINATION OF OPEN STANDARDS FROM
| THE EU DIGITAL AGENDA
`----

http://www.tacd-ip.org/blog/2010/03/25/sos-open-standards-in-eu-digital-agenda/


EIFv2: EC breaks interop, then bows to public protest?

,----[ Quote ]
| This week, Dutch journalist Brenno de
| Winter published a leaked draft for a new
| version of the European Interoperability
| Framework (EIF).
|
| [...]
|
| The reaction to the draft has been very
| strong. FSFE has sent a letter (below) to
| the people in member states of the EU who
| are in charge of eGovernment, telling them
| that this draft is unacceptable, that it
| will hurt the public sector (along with
| European citizens), and discredit the
| European institutions. The FFII has joined
| in with 10 recommendations to improve the
| draft.
|
| [...]
|
| The current text is not a viable successor
| to version 1 of the EIF. Instead of leading
| Europe forward into an interoperable
| future, it will promote vendor lock-in,
| block interoperability of eGovernment
| services, and damage the European software
| economy. If adopted, it will be a testament
| to the power which is exerted outside
| democratic and transparent processes, and
| will give rise to Euro-scepticism.
|
| FSFE appeals to you to urge the European
| Commission to withdraw the current draft,
| in order to avoid replacing the sound and
| and widely accepted EIF version 1 with an
| extremely weak text prepared in an
| intransparent process. At stake are both
| interoperability in the public sector and
| the credibility of European institutions.
`----

http://blogs.fsfe.org/gerloff/?p=285


FFII files Ten Recommendations on leaked EIF 2.0 draft

,----[ Quote ]
| "Microsoft and other larger companies went
| to lobby the European Commission and DG
| Enterprise in order to ask for the removal
| of the open standards definition, in order
| to exclude Free Software with patent
| royalties", explains FFII President
| Benjamin Henrion, who followed the lobby
| debates in Brussels. While some lobbyists
| want to water the European Interoperability
| Framework down, others aim for better
| interoperability enforcement and full
| support for open standards with public ICT
| services.
`----

https://action.ffii.org/eif


If Not EIF 2.0, Then What?

http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=2629&blogid=14


IDABC EIF Info Day 2008 - Brussels

http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/7649


EU Wants to Re-define âClosedâ as âNearly Openâ

,----[ Quote ]
| Version 1 came out in 2004, and since then
| battles have raged over how Version 2 would
| address the issue of âopennessâ. Judging by
| a leaked version of the near-final result,
| it looks like the lobbyists acting on the
| behalf of closed-source software houses
| have won.
|
| [...]
|
| Got that? âClosedâ lies at one end of the
| open spectrum, which conveniently means
| we can include closed solutions in the
| interoperability framework because they are
| part of that continuum.
`----

http://www.computerworlduk.com/toolbox/open-source/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=2620&blogid=14


Revision of the EIF and AG

,----[ Quote ]
| In 2006, the European Commission has started the revision of the European
| Interoperability Framework (EIF) and the Architecture Guidelines (AG).
`----

http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/7728


The 'European Interoperability Framework for pan-European eGovernment Services'
now available in printed version

http://europa.eu.int/idabc/3761


UK: Open Standards Forum 2008

,----[ Quote ]
| In today's Internet and in many large private network infrastructures,
| heterogeneity and diversity are the rule rather than the exception. Security
| infrastructures need open standards and interoperability to scale to the huge
| deployments that are being rolled out. Many security standards support a
| model where identity authentication, access control, digital signature
| processing, encryption and key management are provided as services that can
| be distributed and shared.
`----

http://www.epractice.eu/document/4914


IDABC EIF Info Day 2008 - Brussels

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission, Directorate General for Informatics (IDABC), is
| organising a special event aiming to present and inform on the new version of
| the European Interoperability Framework. This EIF Info Day is to take place
| on 25 June 2008 in Brussels.
`----

http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/document/7649


EU: Feedback welcome on the draft document based on which the new European
Interoperability Framework will be elaborated

,----[ Quote ]
| The draft document based on which the final EIF v2.0 will be elaborated is
| now available online on the IDABC website of the European Commission.
| External comments from all of those interested are welcome by 22 September
| 2008.
`----

http://www.epractice.eu/document/4918


Welcome to the Open Source Observatory and Repository for European public
administrations

,----[ Quote ]
| The OSOR provides a platform for the exchange of information, experiences and
| FLOSS-based code for the use in public administrations. Your are invited to
| participate in this exchange and make use of the OSOR services:
|
|     * international news on Open Source topics;
|     * a repository with code and documentation on software for public
|       administrations;
|     * a state-of-the art forge for working together.
|
| The value and usefulness of the platform will increase with the number of
| contributors and of contributions that are offered for sharing.
`----

http://www.osor.eu/


Using the European championship to spread malware

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft is pushing their evil SilverLight platform very hard. They want to
| make sure that providers of cross-platform software for delivering rich
| applications via the web browser are thwarted. This is normal behavior for a
| monopolistic company and certainly for Microsoft. To accomplish this goal
| they are throwing around bucketloads of money and FUD to get content
| providers to use the Microsoft malware Silverlight exclusively.
`----

http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/3509


European Commission publishes draft of interoperability framework

,----[ Quote ]
| The European Commission's Directorate-General for Informatics has published a
| proposal â PDF file â for a revised framework to promote interoperability in
| e-government services. In the revision of the European Interoperability
| Framework (EIF), Brussels calls for open standards to be used in public
| administration, arguing that open standards lower the bar for market entry,
| promote competition, increase quality, widen choice and lower prices. It goes
| on to point out that open standards also ensure access to information and
| services and argues that public administration benefits because public
| officials have to keep control of the standards and technical specifications
| used.
`----

http://www.heise-online.co.uk/news/European-Commission-publishes-draft-of-interoperability-framework--/111130
http://tinyurl.com/5d8ypm


53 answers to the revision of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF)

,----[ Quote ]
| The Commission has published on its website the list of stakeholders who
| contributed to the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) consultation.
| Even if the European Interoperability Framework is mostly directed to provide
| open standards to be used by governments when they communicate with citizens,
| it can be expected that some large industry players wants to put their
| patents and restrictions on how citizens can communicate with their
| governments.
`----

http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-106014/53-answers-to-the-revision-of-the-european-interoperability-framework-eif


UK set to sidestep US patent affecting print management

,----[ Quote ]
| US print procurement company e-Lynxx has been awarded a patent covering
| competitive tendering of a specified item on an electronic platform, such as
| print management.
|
| The company plans to licence the business method to users.
|
| William Gindlesperger, patent inventor and chief executive of e-Lynxx,
| said: "Every organisation with an electronic procurement system... that
| follows the steps outlined in this new patent, will need a licence to use the
| patented methodology."
|
| However, the UK patent office said that merely transferring a process that
| already existed to an electronic platform was unlikely to result in an
| enforceable patent.
`----

http://www.printweek.com/news/862659/UK-set-sidestep-US-patent-affecting-print-management/


Chocolate coins for EPO cash cow

,----[ Quote ]
| Examiners of the European Patent Office have recently invaded one of the
| secret meetings of the Administrative Council with chocolate coins, pointing
| to the conflict of interests between the National Patent Offices (NPOs) and
| their appetite of "more patents, more money".
`----

http://stopsoftwarepatents.org/forum/t-105735/chocolate-coins-for-epo-corruption
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