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Re: [DotGNU]The shifting sands of identity

From: Tony Stanco
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]The shifting sands of identity
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2001 12:58:54 -0500

>--- Tony Stanco <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Also interesting

>Any idea if there is any specific policy regarding GPL
>in these circles?

The World Bank, the UN and the Federal Government are just now starting to
look at it. Early adopters they're not. But some very highly placed people
are starting to be interested enough to give it a serious chance. I think
this is going to be a very interesting year for Free Software. Some places
like France and Germany are ahead of the pack by about a year, though they
too are just now starting to look at actual GPL implementations.

Everyone, except Microsoft, goes around town saying, "Open Standards, Open
Architecture, Open Source," though they make-up their own definitions of
these things and they are saying them more because the policymakers want to
hear them than because they really believe them.

As an example of the mood in town, the person responsible for
government-wide records management for e-government told a Microsoft
representative at a Free Software investigatory meeting in October that I
attended, "Let my documents go!" [The Feds are standardizing on XML with
almost a 100% certainty.]

Also, if we get are act together on DotGNU Virtual IDs, Section 12 -
Electronic Authentication Infrastructures, in a new bill passed November 27
by the House, Computer Security Enhancement Act of 2001, says:

"Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the
Director, in consultation with industry and appropriate Federal agencies,
SHALL develop TECHNOLOGY-NEUTRAL guidelines and standards, or adopt existing
technology-neutral industry guidelines and standards, for electronic
authentication infrastructures to be made available to Federal agencies...
that is ... INTEROPERABLE, to the MAXIMUM extent possible" [emphasis added].

This has just gone to the Senate, so the 18 months are still not ticking.
But this shows that the tide is turning and Microsoft and others will not
just be doing what they thought they would unnoticed anymore. It took some
time for Washington to catch on, but they are learning fast. [Microsoft may
have gotten off, or will, on the antitrust trial but there is no love
between Microsoft and Washington anymore. So Microsoft may have won the
battle, but they lost the war. It will be interesting to see what happens on
Wednesday in the Senate.]

There is a fair chance that if we play are cards right in the next 12-24
months that e-government here and internationally will be powered by
FreeSoftware. It is too early to get overly confident. But it is looking
better every day than one could have reasonably imagined.

Best regards,

Tony Stanco, Esq.
Senior Policy Analyst
Cyberspace Policy Institute
School of Engineering and
Applied Science
George Washington University
2033 K Street N.W., Suite 340
Washington, DC 20006
202-994-5513  Fax:202-994-5505

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