[FSFE PR][EN] Digital-O-Mat: Compare your views on Internet policies with the parties for the German federal election 2017

press at fsfe.org press at fsfe.org
Tue Aug 29 11:53:57 CEST 2017

 = Digital-O-Mat: Compare your views on Internet policies with the parties for
the German federal election 2017 =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2017/news-20170829-01.en.html ]

Although digital issues are becoming increasingly important, general
election coverage often miss them out. That is why the "Koalition Freies
Wissen" ("Free Knowledge Coalition") created the "Digital-O-Mat", an
online tool for voter information for the German federal election of
2017. The FSFE asked the participating parties about their positions on
Free Software. CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP avoid clear statements and thus
confirm the status quo, the Greens and the Left in contrast present
themselves as supporters of Free Software.

 === What is the Digital-O-Mat? ===

The Digital-O-Mat [1] highlights the parties' positions on Internet
policy relevant topics and helps voters to find their matching party for
the election to the German parliament. Its design resembles the well-
known Wahl-O-Mat, a popular online voter information tool by the German
Federal Agency for Civic Education . Users of the Digital-O-Mat are able
to answer twelve questions and then compare their position to the
participating parties. The topics of Digital-O-Mat include transparency,
surveillance, digital civil rights and, of course, Free Software. We
asked AfD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, CDU/CSU, FDP, Die Linke and the SPD.
We received replies from everyone except AfD. Digital-O-Mat is Free
Software [2] and had its debut in 2017 for the state parliament
elections in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) [3].

 === The parties' positions on Free Software ===

For Digital-O-Mat, the Free Software Floundation Europe asked the
participating parties the following questions:

- If software is financed or co-financed by the public sector, should
  there be no regulation regarding its licensing, e.g. a Free Software

- Should public administrations gradually migrate their IT systems to
  Free and Open Source software?

CDU/CSU (conservatives) and FDP (liberals) marked their position as
"neutral" and answered in a very similar fashion. Unfortunately, these
parties avoid making a clear stance and ultimately confirm the status
quo. On one hand, they do consider the use of Free Software, on the
other hand, so they say, there are multiple other aspects to consider
weigh in. However, they list functionality and usability for example,
even though they have no relation to the licence in use. When asked
about the migration of existing IT systems, CDU/CSU prefer decision
making on a case-by-case basis, while FDP dodged our question.

Although the SPD (labour) also marked their answer as "neutral", they
support the deployment and development of Free Software in public
administrations and educational institutions, "to foster the creation of
innovative businesses in the local market". Die Linke (lefts) and
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (greens) position themselves as supporters of
deployment and public funding of Free Software. The greens consider Free
Software to be a "cornerstone for secure and future-proof IT systems",
and the lefts also fully support it, as long as there are no concerns
regarding security or operation.

 === About the "Koalition Freies Wissen" ===

The Koalition Freies Wissen ("Free Knowledge Coalition") is an
association of multiple civic organisations, namely Bündnis Freie
Bildung [4], Chaos Computer Club e.V. [5], Digitale Gesellschaft e.V.
[6], Freifunk [7], Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland e.V. [8],
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. [9] and the Free Software Foundation Europe.

The common goal of the Koalition Freies Wissen is to disseminate
knowledge about digital and Internet policy issues as well as to
highlight and establish digital civil rights in society and politics.
The coalition has sent questions to the participating parties in
previous state parliament elections this year and has now created the
Digital-O-Mat for the German federal elections 2017.

 == Related content: https://digital-o-mat.de/ ==

  1: http://bund.digital-o-mat.de/
  2: https://github.com/dsstio/digital-o-mat
  3: https://fsfe.org/news/2017/news-20170419-01
  4: http://buendnis-freie-bildung.de/
  5: http://buendnis-freie-bildung.de/
  6: https://digitalegesellschaft.de/
  7: https://freifunk.net/
  8: https://okfn.de/
  9: https://www.wikimedia.de/wiki/Hauptseite

  == About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==

  Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to
  control technology. Software is deeply involved in all aspects of our
  lives; and it is important that this technology empowers rather than
  restricts us. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use,
  understand, adapt and share software. These rights help support other
  fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech, press and privacy.

  The FSFE helps individuals and organisations to understand how Free
  Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.
  It enhances users' rights by abolishing barriers to Free Software
  adoption, encourage people to use and develop Free Software, and
  provide resources to enable everyone to further promote Free Software
  in Europe.


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