[Reader-list] OSS framework for egovernance

A. Mani a.mani.cms at gmail.com
Tue Nov 5 09:48:30 CST 2013

This document is up for discussion:

I notice the following:

(please add any other points soon or submit it directly by 8th to
egov.standards at nic.in )

Adoption of free software is a great idea, but the document has
serious shortcomings and lacks vision.
We explain these below.

There is nothing specific about free software in the document.
There are serious differences between the idea and implementation of
free software and open source
which are particularly relevant in the context of this document. Do see
for relevant details.

The only concern for OSS seems to be 'reduced cost'. As far as "free
software" is concerned, the people drafting the document seem to
interpret "free" as "gratis" instead of "free as in freedom" (p.39).
Nothing is said about security models, openness of information,
knowledge commons and transparency of processes - that can be the
outcome of free software adoption. If the adoption process stops at
open source software that is not free software then all of the
aforesaid benefits cannot be ensured in practice. This is also
important in the context of mass surveillance by Government agencies
(Indian Govt agencies function in more draconian ways than NSA). The
concepts underlying the framework need to be stated more clearly and
the goals improved severely.

Why does the document say so little about funding free software projects?

The document propagates FUD of proprietary software developers in
regard to free software licenses like GNU-GPL. It should be required
that all software developed by the Government must be under GNU-GPL-3
and above or Affero-GNU-GPL in special cases. GNU-GPL-3+ remains the
best license for almost all use cases including commercial ones. For
more on licenses see
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-recommendations.html and
https://www.gnu.org/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html .  Non copy-left
licenses should not be tolerated. They eventually amount to infringing
on people's fundamental rights.



A. Mani

A. Mani

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