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Die Welt: How Hunzinger Lobbied the Bundestag against Linux

Jul 26, 2002, 14:30 (28 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Von Martin Lutz , Arne Delfs)

[ Thanks to Godi for this link and for assisting in the translation of this story. ]

The German daily newspaper Die Welt has reported today that Microsoft hired the public relations company Hunzinger to lobby high-ranked German decision makers against the adoption of Linux in the Bundestag.

Hunzinger is currently the focus of intense public scrutiny in Germany due to alledged dubious business practices. In particular, sources have indicated that Hunzinger paid a large sum of money to German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping in an unrelated matter. Scharping was forced to resign this week.

In the aftermath of the scandal more and more details on Hunzingers activities are coming to light, which prompted today's story from Die Welt.

According to the piece, Hunzinger was hired by Microsoft in 2001 to convince German decision makers not to adopt Linux in the Bundestag. The PR firm invited members of the parliament for a workshop at the building of DG Bank in Berlin. According to Die Welt, gourmet food was served to the participants and Microsoft Germany's CEO Kurt Sibold gave a talk in which he predicted the decline of the Linux phenomenon.

In a letter to the members of the Bundestag, Hunzinger suggested that after September 11 Linux might not be secure enough for a government agency. Their rationale was that due to the open source character of Linux, the OS could more easily be exploited by cyber terrorist.

Hunzinger apparently offered briefings by Microsoft CEO Kurt Sibold to all interested members of parliament.

Complete Story (auf Deutsch)

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