The Netherlands: Important points for the election
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is committed to empower users to control technolgy to digital civil rights, transparency and control over technology. It does this by promoting Free Software (also known as Open Source Software). In addition, Free Software promotes innovation and prevents vendor lock-in. Digital sovereignty is only possible with Free Software.
Our society is becoming increasingly digital, so it is crucial that public values are also safeguarded in the digital domain. The upcoming elections and term of office are an opportunity to take important steps on current themes such as artificial intelligence (AI) and digital commons.
FSFE asks parties to work on the following action points:
- Strengthen the 'open, unless' policy that requires government to choose Free Software by default This is crucial for transparency and digital sovereignty, so embed this policy in legislation. Support governments in selecting and developing Free Software with a central expertise center. Identify government tasks where control and explainability is necessary and ensure this by applying the principle of ‘Public Money? Public Code!’.
- Encourage wise reuse of software by investing in digital commons to make sure others can benefit from the improvements. Support the adaptation and development of these joint Free Software solutions with knowledge and financial resources. Use the European knowledge network and the space of European digitization funds for this.
- Improve the oversight and transparency of algorithms in government use. The further filling of the national algorithm register is a first step in this respect. In addition, increase transparency by publishing the training data and source code of those algorithms under a Free license, as we have argued before.
- Pupils and parents should not be forced to use proprietry software that often even spies on them. Place additional requirements on IT solutions for knowledge and educational institutions to help them maintain sovereignty in a digital world. Support institutions in the use of Free Software to prevent vendor-lock in and to promote independent digital skills.
- Stop wasting energy and strategically important raw materials by extending the life of electronics. Make sure that the end of support does not mean the end of the service life. To this end, empower consumers and businesses to repair hardware and replace software with Free Software that they control themselves. This call has been supported by the signatories of our open letter 'The universal right to install any software on any device'.
The FSFE is happy to elaborate on these points.