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Proposed Law Requires Only Open Source Software in Israeli Government

Oct 17, 2002, 16:00 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

According to various media sources in Israel, a new proposed law may make that nation an open source-only country.

The proposal--actually an amendment to the Mandatory Tenders Law--would require government agencies and institutions to only purchase software based on open-source code.

Agencies could deviate from the purchase of open source software, but only with the approval of the Minister of Finance, who would be required to justify all exceptions in writing.

The proposal originates from Keneset Member Nehama Ronen, a member of the Center Party. While Linux Today was unable to reach Ronen for comment, it has learned that one of the primary reasons she has proposed this law was to bridge the Microsoft licensing price gap that prevents poorer Isreali citizens from purchasing PCs.

By shifting the government to open source software, citizens of Israel would have more incentive to acquire open source software for themselves, if only to be compatible with government and education agencies. It is hoped that this lead-by-example policy will effectively reduce the overall cost of a PC by removing Microsoft Windows and other proprietary software from the equation.

Critics of the proposed law are skeptical as to whether this plan will work, and have accused Ronen of not letting citizens decide for themselves what software they should buy.

For more information, readers of Hebrew are invited to peruse the story link below, provided by reader Koby Goshen.

Additional Information (in Hebrew)

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