28 May 2008

Greenies Go Open

Pretty much a marriage made in heaven:

Open source software should be more widely available in order to help reduce the 'digital divide', according to Dr Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for the South East.

Dr Lucas has added her signature to a written declaration in the European Parliament - like an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons - recognising the growing disparities in access to information and communication technologies throughout the European Union, and calling for increased use of open source technology.

She said: "The establishment of a digital divide is a new cause of social disparity which risks further excluding populations that are already vulnerable.

"New digital technologies have become an essential tool in all areas of life, including employment, education, and in personal leisure activities.

"European citizens have the right to freely access documents and information from the institutions which represent them, and it is about time that the use of open source software became more widespread.

"The European Union should take the necessary measures to help finance public research on open source software, and Parliament to switch its whole computer network to this type of technology.

Not that this is really a party issue: open source makes sense whatever your political persuasion, as David Cameron's increasing enthusiasm for it shows. Strange that only Labour doesn't get it: perhaps it's just too antithetical to its Stalinist positions on interception, internment without trial, ID cards, DNA databases et al.

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