The German city of Hamburg should do like Munich, and switch to open source, says the city's Alliance '90/The Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). Switching to free and open source software enables innovation and increases security, and the city administration should emphasise this when selecting ICT solutions. "We want to lead by example", says Farid Müller, spokesperson for the party in Hamburg. "We want an exit strategy for proprietary software used by Hamburg's administration."
The politicians are organising a conference on 21 October, to discuss the opportunities of open source software for businesses, society and public administration. The meeting is organised in cooperation with the Open Source Business (OSB) Alliance, an open source trade group.
Purposely, the conference is planned on the same day - and in the same city - as the National IT Summit (Nationale IT-Gipfel), organised by Germany's Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy and which will include Chancellor Angela Merkel. The alternative 'Open IT Summit' is needed, because free and open source is not part of Germany's national political agenda, the Greens write.
They point out that the major Internet firms are using open source, and that the software is increasingly implemented in European countries. However, public administrations in Germany are hesitating. "Continuing to rely on monopolistic proprietary IT systems is sure to become more expensive", the Greens write.
On 21 October, the Greens want to begin developing an exit strategy for proprietary software. "Digital sovereignty and the advantages and challenges of a transition to open source are to be discussed." The conference will also address why Germany is lagging behind in the use of open source. The organisers have asked Renate Künast, Chairman of the Committee for Justice and Consumer Protection in the Bundestag, to talk about developments in the area of digital consumer protection, in the context of open source. The conference's opening address is by former German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.
"Open source software plays a key role in IT security, IT self-determination and independence, but also in competition and innovation", Peter Ganten, chairman of the OSB Alliance, is quoted as saying in the conference announcement. "At the Open IT Summit, we will discuss how these properties can be used for the benefit of the state, economy and society."