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Foreign Office: Will it switch off the Free Software beacon?

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Joint press release of Linux-Verband (LIVE) and Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

The process might have slipped away quietly. But now it is in the spotlight, thanks to a request from the SPD parliamentary group: The Foreign Office (AA), once a "beacon project" for the use of Free Software in the federal ministries, will return to proprietary software. The Linux-Verband (LIVE) and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) regret this development.

The Foreign Office did not state the reasons for the rejection of its IT strategy of free software and open standards. Therefore the FSFE and LIVE welcome the 16 point comprehensive inquiry of the SPD parliamentary group of 26 January this year. The taxpayer would be interested in the costs and risks that the retreat to Microsoft products entails.

"The Foreign Office should well remember the virus attack on its own Windows machines." said the LIVELinux-Verband chairman Elmar Geese. In this notorious incident, infected Microsoft Office documents tried to send themselves from the AA to China. How many documents were affected is still not known. "In the era of cyber-wars, are not new threats such as Stuxnet reson enough to opt for open source systems? Only these offer sufficiently verifiable safety." Geese continued.

"Citizens have a right to know why the previous Free Software strategy is being discarded. We welcome the parliament's initiative to shed some light on these intransparent proceedings. Closed IT systems have no place in a democracy." said Matthias Kirschner, German coordinator at the Free Software Foundation Europe.

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and involved in many global activities. Access to software determines participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study, modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues of the FSFE.

Find more information on the work of the FSFE at fsfe.org fsfe.org

About the Linux-Verband

The Linux-Verband (LIVE) represents the interests of the open-source company in Germany and Europe. Our goal is to further spread open source software and open standards. For over ten years we have offered members a unique network of information sharing, cooperation and the common development of our successful business with Free Software. We serve the media, business, administration and politics as an independent consultant and actively represent the interests of our members.

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