Believes Government Should Use Free Software - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Believes Government Should Use Free Software

Published June 20, 2011

A pioneer in the open source community wants to see the Icelandic government start using open source software.
Richard Stallman, creator of the GNU Project and founder of the Free Software Foundation, has for decades now advocated for the use of free and open source software. On a visit to Iceland, he spoke with reporters about why he believes it matters, both in terms of saving costs and expanding personal freedom.
“It is unfair that software owners control users,” he told Vísir. “The founding principle of the free software movement is that we ought to take control of our own computer use, by rejecting the idea that control over the software is not in our hands.”
Stallman cited the fact that over 12,000 schools in India have adopted open source software for their computers, rejecting the usual contracts with Microsoft. He believes the Icelandic government ought to do the same.
“Government offices ought to move forward and take control of their own computer systems,” he said. “That’s a part of being an independent state. This is why government offices should never let themselves use closed source programming and software.”
Open source software has come far enough over the years to where now, there is a free, open source equivalent of just about any closed source program being sold today. Many have also cited the fact that free and open source operating systems, such as the various and sundry flavours of Linux, are impervious to virus attacks and other malware.

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