October 1, 2003

Open government demands open source

- by Eric S. Raymond -
Citizens Against Government Waste should be ashamed of itself. As a liberty-loving foe of intrusive government, I'm normally sympathetic to their crusade against bureaucracy and over-regulation. But today, CAGW made the strongest argument I've ever seen for writing them off as mere shills for corporate greed.

CAGW's press release attacking the Massachusetts Freeware Initiative reads like it was dictated by Microsoft's PR department -- complete with a fraudalent assertion that open source is more expensive, and even an attempt to associate open source with the hideous evils of the Soviet Union and socialism.

CAGW affects to be horrified by what it calls a "Proposed Software Monopoly." Which raises this question: Where has CAGW been all these years while Massachusetts taxpayers were being gouged by an actual monopoly?

Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn is doing his job, ensuring that the government and the people of Massachusetts will no longer be locked into closed formats and closed software and unhealthy dependence on a monopolist. Open government demands open source.

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