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Stop proprietary software in the Public Administration?

Those who have a constant relationship with the public administration know how difficult it is if not impossible to live with the institutions if you use a Mac operating system. Even more difficult things become if, for personal reasons, you choose programs that are not compatible with the standard Microsoft.

To read documents you must have Word, to see tables or graphs you must have Excel; in the past, even to make the tax return you had to have Windows. All of this, as anyone who observes the market is well aware, with a significant increase in costs for ordinary citizens, forced to pay a sort of additional tax, often very high, only to be able to carry out their duties or exercise their rights when instead using freeware and free and universal applications it is possible to do practically everything.

This philosophy, which for years has been trying to make headway in many areas, seems finally to have ended also to the attention of the legislator who begins to understand that the publication of documents that can be read and used by anyone and without being forced to pay hundreds of euros just to read a text of the law or a ministerial circular.

The promoter of a bill in this sense was the senator of the greens Fiorello Cortiana.In his proposal, the public administration is required to publish electronic material only in formats that are accessible to anyone and that do not 'purchase of proprietary software.' In the communication society 'says Fiorello Cortiana' alphabets must have universal availability. It is necessary to lower the access threshold to innovation until it is canceled. 'In practice' Cortiana underlines in some statements to Il Sole 24 Ore – the use of proprietary formats discriminates citizens based on their IT choices and translates into public administration support for producers of programs that can read those formats, forcing citizens to become customers of those products. 'The bill goes even further, to impose the use of open source products on the public administration. In fact this would mean the massive entry into the offices and ministries of the Linux operating system but also of: Open office, Apache, Gimp, Perl and Python restricting the use of proprietary operating systems, which essentially means Windows in all its variants , in areas where it is not possible to do otherwise due to the lack of alternatives.In many European countries, legal provisions have been introduced that go in the same direction desired by Senator Cortiana. We will see if and how the proposal will be implemented by the Italian Parliament.