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Canada Debian Government Politics Your Rights Online

Free Software Supporter and Canadian MP David Graham Talks OSS In Government ( 25

New submitter ShawnX writes: If David Graham sounds familiar, you might know him better as cdlu (short for "confused debian linux user"). For years, cdlu was my colleague at and Newsforge and well-known in Debian circles as well. Since then, he has been a presence in the back rooms of the Liberal Party until, in the federal election in October 2015, he was elected for the first time. He now describes himself (no doubt correctly) as "the only Member of Parliament to be in the Debian key ring." (And here's video of Graham discussing greater use of Open Source in government, from the perspective of someone with a foot in each of those worlds.)
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Free Software Supporter and Canadian MP David Graham Talks OSS In Government

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  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Sunday March 13, 2016 @12:05PM (#51689615) Homepage

    I've seen cdlu's comments for years and always respected his posts and insights. While I knew his name, I never connected the two.

    Very nice to see that he's in a position to influence things in the Canadian government. Too bad there isn't a Ministry of Information Technology; it sound like Mr. Graham would be a great fit for the job.

    • by ShawnX ( 260531 ) on Sunday March 13, 2016 @08:17PM (#51691175) Homepage Journal
      having known cdlu (David) personally from our Ottawa Linux Symposium days we keep in touch on IRC (yes, maybe the first EVER elected MP to use IRC still). It is very important we have an advocate for FLOSS in government to guide others to understand technology. He can dissimulate technical details to other politicians in layman's terms. Better informed politicians are at what laws they pass the better we'll be.
  • by Krokus ( 88121 ) on Sunday March 13, 2016 @12:17PM (#51689651) Homepage

    I can't believe I just heard a politician ask, in a government operations committee, about transitioning away from 32-bit signed integers. Just... wow.

  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Sunday March 13, 2016 @12:17PM (#51689653)
    If this happens it will be great news for Canadians. The liberal party appears to be taking privacy issues more seriously than the previous government. With Windows 10 sending potentially private confidential data plus recent "trojan" reported this is becoming a big deal. Wonder how MS is going to spin this one.
    • by rikkards ( 98006 )

      This is as likely as Trudeau actually legalizing Marijuana (IOW not likely but I would be pleasantly surprised)

      • Well, if Microsoft presses the government to legalize marijuana, the problem will solve itself. Everyone will be too stoned to give a shit.

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Sunday March 13, 2016 @01:07PM (#51689829) Homepage

    I just retired from the City of Calgary, and damn, I thought we were having trouble keeping up. We, too, imagined that IE was your only tolerable browser -- up to a few years ago when they threw up their hands and started backing Chrome installs because people were installing it anyway in their home directories. Now it's taking over everything except a few apps that demand IE...and apps that do that are no longer considered for new purchases.
    Calgary went all-Linux about 2004, making some waves in the trade journals at the time: we were getting (way) better performance with HP intel chips and RedHat than we had been with Solaris machines, for a fifth the cost(!) All proprietary Unixes were gone within a few years. And mainframes, I thought we were never going to ditch the mainframe, the whole IT department was built around it and they clung bitterly to that thing well into the 21st century...but it, too, has been gone for nearly 10 years now.
    The notion that the Feds still have all that stuff so long after a slow-changing conservative municipal government ditched it is sobering, almost shocking.
    They're really leaving a lot of money on the table!
    FOSS is just one ingredient in the changes needed, and this MP needs to pick it as his signature topic and go after some of that "waste" that politicians are always promising to pay for new programs with - we've actually found some!

  • Open File Formats (Score:4, Insightful)

    by currently_awake ( 1248758 ) on Sunday March 13, 2016 @05:56PM (#51690801)
    Government data belongs to the taxpayers (us), and therefore must be stored in open (fully documented) file formats to prevent it getting lost or stuck behind paywalls.
  • For governments of countries who generate no import revenue from software licensing, Free Open Source Software makes sense. In fact they can just turn around and invest that licence fee in Free Open Source Software to better tailor it to their needs and they are still enormously better off, having invested in the local development of computer skills and ensured any capital expenditure in fact does generate tax revenues. Considering the level of tax evasions amounting to trillions globally, spending money o

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