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<html newsdate="2017-09-13">
<title>Public Money? Public Code! 31 organisations ask to improve public procurement of software</title>
<h1>Public Money? Public Code! 31 organisations ask to improve public procurement of software</h1>
<p>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 licences.</p>
<div class="captioned" style="width:80%; margin: 1.5em auto;"><a href="">
<img src="" alt="Public Money Public Code -" /></a>
<p>Today, 31 organisations are publishing an <a
href="">open letter</a> in which
they call for lawmakers to advance legislation requiring publicly
financed software developed for the public sector be made available
under a Free and Open Source Software licence. The initial
signatories include CCC, EDRi, Free Software Foundation Europe, KDE,
Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, openSUSE, Open Source Business Alliance,
Open Source Initiative, The Document Foundation, Wikimedia
Deutschland, as well as several others; they ask individuals and other
organisation to <a href="">sign the
open letter</a>. The open letter will be sent to candidates for the
German Parliament election and, during the coming months, until the
2019 EU parliament elections, to other representatives of the EU and
EU member states.</p>
<blockquote><p><em>"Because the source code of proprietary software is often a business secret, it radically increases the difficulty of discovering both accidental and intentional security flaws in critical software. Reverse engineering proprietary software to improve or strengthen it is an absolute necessity in today's environment, but this basic technical requirement is unlawful in many circumstances and jurisdictions. With critical infrastructure such as hospitals, automobile factories, and freight shippers having all been brought offline this year due to flaws concealed within proprietary software, unauditable code is a liability that states can no longer subsidize with special legal privileges without incurring a cost denominated in lives.</em></p>
<p><em>Right now, the blueprints for much of our most critical public infrastructure are simply unavailable to the public. By aligning public funding with a Free Software requirement -- "Free" referring to public code availability, not cost -- we can find and fix flaws before they are used to turn the lights out in the next hospital."</em></p>
<p>Edward Snowden, President of the Freedom of the Press Foundation about <a href="">the "Public Money Public Code" campaign</a> launch.</p></blockquote>
<div class="captioned" style="width:80%; margin: 1.5em auto;"><a href="">
<img src="" alt="Eward Snowden on" /></a>
<p>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.</p>
<blockquote><p><em>"We need software that fosters the sharing of good
ideas and solutions. Only like this will we be able to improve
digital 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."</em></p>
<p>Matthias Kirschner, President of the Free Software Foundation
<p>That is why the signatories call on representatives all around
Europe to modernise 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 in 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.</p>
<blockquote><p><em>"Public bodies are financed through taxes. They
should spend funds responsibly and in the most efficient way
possible. If it is public money, it should be public code as well!"</em>
says Kirschner.</p></blockquote>
<h2>Further information</h2>
<li><a href="">Open Letter</a></li>
<li><a href="">Sign the Open Letter!</a></li>
<li><a href="">Video (3:47) in different formats</a> (licensed under CC-By 4.0 ), or also for embedding on <a href="">Vimeo</a> and <a href="">Youtube</a></li>
<h2>The initial signatories</h2>
<li><a href="">April</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Associação Ensino Livre">Associação Ensino Livre</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Associação Nacional para o Software Livre">Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (ANSOL)</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Chaos Computer Club">Chaos Computer Club (CCC)</a></li>
<li><a href="">Courage Foundation</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="D3-Defesa dos Direitos Digitais">D3-Defesa dos Direitos Digitais</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="digitalcourage">Digitalcourage</a></li>
<li><a href="">Digitale Gesellschaft</a></li>
<li><a href="" title=" Foundation"> Foundation</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="ePaństwo Foundation">ePaństwo Foundation</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="European Digital Rights">European Digital Rights (EDRi)</a></li>
<li><a href="">Expose Facts</a></li>
<li><a href="/" title="Free Software Foundation Europe">Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)</a></li>
<li><a href="">GFOSS</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="HackYourPhD">HackYourPhD</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="K Desktop Environment">KDE</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Linux User Group Of Slovenia">Linux User Group Of Slovenia (LUGOS)</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Linuxwochen">Linuxwochen</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Modern Poland Foundation">Modern Poland Foundation</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="quintessenz - Verein zur Wiederherstellung der Bürgerrechte im Informationszeitalter">quintessenz</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland">Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland</a></li>
<li><a href="">Open Labs</a></li>
<li><a href="">Open Rights Group</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Open Software Business Alliance">Open Source Business Alliance</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Open Source Initiative">Open Source Initiative (OSI)</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="openSUSE">openSUSE</a></li>
<li><a href="">Public Software CIC</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Software Liberty Association Taiwan">Software Liberty Association Taiwan</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="The Document Foundation">The Document Foundation</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Wikimedia Deutschland">Wikimedia Deutschland</a></li>
<li><a href="" title="Xnet">Xnet</a></li>
<tag key="front-page"/>
<tag key="pmpc">Public Code</tag>
<tag key="open-letter">Open Letter</tag>
<tag key="procurement">Public procurement</tag>