Originally posted on November 20, 2007 @ 11:45 pm
Yesterday, talk here in HLWT centered on the contentious issue of net neutrality. Well, you have to give it to the presidential run-up in the United States to really roil the technology pot. Now, the issue is about ODF or OpenDocument Format.
Recently, Sen. Barack Obama — showing his very progressive stance on technology issues — said that he will put government data online in a format that is universally accessible should he be elected president.
I’d rather not paraphrase Obama’s very persuasive and well articulated statement so here it is: “We have to use technology to open up our democracy. It’s no coincidence that one of the most secretive administrations in history has favored special interests and pursued policies that could not stand up to sunlight. As president, I’ll change that. I’ll put government data online in universally accessible formats.”
Obama made this statement in a speech he delivered at the Google campuse in California. In the event, he also revealed his detailed IT plan that revolves around a more open and technically progressive government. Obama’s stance is being hailed by technology experts and activists. Obama’s move can really open up the government and make information more accessible to everyone. There will be no more need for proprietary formats just to open important documents or to access information.
Of course, you should expect conservatives to oppose this move because they see a democratic approach to information is tantamount to practically giving so called sensitive information to enemies of the state. Let’s see how the debates will fuel this issue.
Marino Marcich, managing director of the ODF Alliance, applauded the move.
“Public information that can be read and downloaded by anyone without need of a particular brand of software is central to the mission of the ODF Alliance and a key feature of the OpenDocument Format,” Marcich said. “We are excited that leading American officials are joining the growing chorus of international and domestic voices that have already recognized