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2015 11 13 WS 10 FOSS & a Free, Open Internet: Synergies for Development Workshop Room 7 FINISHED
 Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 


>> SATHEES BABU: Good afternoon and good day to all the participants, both who are here, as well as online.

Welcome to this Workshop No. 10, actually a round table, on free open source software and free open Internet synergies for development.

My name is Sathees Babu. I'm from India.

I've been a free software activist and advocate for about twenty years.

And I also volunteer with ICANN, ISOC, IEEE, and several other organizations. And at the outset, I'd like to think ICANN and the at large for supporting this workshop and also me and my colleague Siranush who is sitting behind the screen over there to attend this meeting.

The reason why we wanted a workshop or a round table on free software ‑‑ software libre ‑‑ and the free and open Internet is that we felt that there is a significant amount of synergy. That we know that code is beginning to be an instrument that is changing lives.

In many parts of the world, we have the four Rs of; primary education, which are Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, and pRogramming. And this indicates the importance of code as we go forward to the future.

Free and Open Source Software ‑‑ or software libre ‑‑ is, among other things, a mechanism where code and the ability to code is being democratized.

In contrast with centralized proprietary models of coding, software libre allows decentralized, creation, distribution, use and maintenance of code.

Such democratization enables grassroots level application of code to solve local problems leading to more empowered communities.

Free flow of code is therefore important to ensure that communities stay plugged in and current. Code also enables communities to side step or to work around practices like surveillance and censorship.

When you look to the Internet, there are several core values and principles that the Internet tries to uphold. These include the ability to connect, the ability to speak, to innovate, to share, to choose, and to trust.

So these core values of the Internet we feel is actually very close to the core values of software libre, and that is what prompted us to think of such a workshop.

A free open unfragmented Internet is very important to those of us in software libre.

Without a free Internet, the open source based peer production methodologies for code would not be possible.

So we're assuming all the time that there is a free, unfragmented Internet and only that exist can free software or software libre exist.

We also see that the Internet also needs innovations of open source software to remain free, open, transparent and neutral; and, therefore, there is a positive, mutual dependency or complementarity.

We've seen that both FOSS and the Internet are at risk from forces that are seeking increased control over content, seeking to fragment the Internet and challenging its openness.

This would hurt all of us, and it would also kind of impinge on the rights of present and future generations who want to use technology and code to improve their lives.

A new threat that has been pointed out is the trade agreements like TPP.

We don't know how these are going to impact the licensing policies of free software. We hear that there are issues, that some of the agreements, TPP in particular, is perhaps going to outlaw some of these licenses. If so, it's go to pose a grave threat.

We are still not sure about the actual impact.

This IGF has been really great. All of us have experienced a number of these issues that have come up in the discourse, in particular, things like zero rating and net neutrality. I'm hoping that some of the panelists can touch upon the relation between zero rating and the free software.

Some of us have seen some indications that there is a link. And people object to zero rating also because of the proprietary tools used to lock in the consumers.

So that I wouldn't want to comment on it. Perhaps some of the panelists can comment on it.

This round table and the round table format is to encourage participation from the audience. So we do expect that the audience is able to participate in this discussions that will follow. And I will briefly touch upon the format of this round table.

So we want to highlight the perspectives from the panelists and the participants about the future core development of software libre and a free and open Internet, in particular, if there are any threats that emerge in their opinion and how do communities seek to address this.

We have a very imminent panel of speakers. They are Judy Okite from Africa who is sitting there.

Her wheelchair unfortunately cannot make it past this obstacle so she is sitting there.

Mishi Choudhary stepped out for another workshop. She'll be back in about eight minutes.

Fernando who is here from Brazil, and Fernando has helped us immensely to organize the Brazilian end of this round table. And thanks to Fernando for that.

Sunil Abraham, my friend from India, CIS India.

Corinto, who is Advisor to the President of Brazil.

Okay. Caroline is here. She's from the W3C Brazil office and Center of Studies and Web Technologies.

And we have Pranesh Prakash who I am hoping will join us.

So this is ‑‑ I'm actually not introducing the speakers. I'd rather have them introduce ‑‑ take one minute to introduce themselves.

The format of this round table is as follows: We have opening remarks from the panelists, five minutes each, plus one minute for self‑introduction about the work that they're doing.

This is going to be followed by about 20 minutes of audience interactions, 20 to 25 minutes depending on the overall time. And, finally, we'd like each panelist to give us a one‑minute takeaway thought for all of us from this workshop.

Once again, I'd like to thank my friend Siranush Vardanyan who is sitting behind there. She's remote moderating. Thanks, also, to her.

Thanks to Judy who is the co‑organizer of this workshop who has been helping with all the organizing aspects of this workshop.

And thanks to the remote participants who logged in. I'm told there are a few who logged in from different parts of the world.

So thank you, everyone. And with that, I'd like to go over to my colleague Judy for her opening remarks.

>> JUDY OKITE: Thank you very much.

My name is Judy Okite. I come from Nairobi, Kenya.

I've been working with ‑‑ Okite, O‑K‑I‑T‑E.

I come from Nairobi, Kenya. I've been working with the free open source for the last 12 years.

And why free open source for me is because it allows me the innovation. It gives me the opportunity for innovation. And it's open, and so I'm able to edit and work with the software whichever way I want it and how best it works for me.

I've been an activist, but I'm trying not to be right now.

I was in a panel in the morning, and there was a Microsoft guy; but I tried to stay away from him.


>> JUDY OKITE: So that ‑‑ yes, so we don't get into this fight.

But I would encourage the panelists to ‑‑ and even the participants to just share our experiences in the open source so that people can be able to see that it's not just something that we are talking about, but it's actually something that is working.

Thank you very much.

>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you, Judy.

So we have all the panelists in place now. Pranesh, Mishi ‑‑ there's a chair here already.

This one. You can come here.

We now move on to Fernando Botelho, an old friend of mine from Brazil. And over to you, Fernando.

>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: Testing. Okay.

Hello, everyone. My name is Fernando Botelho. I'm responsible for a project ‑‑ an initiative called F123. F123 is radically different from the open source tradition of inventing difficult names.


>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: We try to keep it simple. I think if it was in the true open source spirit, it would be 3.141839 so forth.


>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: So the idea behind F123 is to make accessibility available to all.

And we give particular emphasis on accessibility to the blind just because I am blind. A number of people in my team have visual impairments.

But the principles are the same.

And I think that just, you know, it's a short introduction by every one of us, so I know Caroline is going to focus on ‑‑ talk a little bit about the open standards and so forth.

So let me mention the issue that I see is that so much of the activity that takes place today online is moving to what people call the cloud which really translates to having the processing taking place on the server rather than on the local machine.

And what happens is that this is a rapidly moving area, an area where everybody is trying to compete with very powerful players. And the last thing in their mind is to worry about accessibility.

And that's the first thing in my mind and in the minds of a lot of blind people that depend on online applications. Sometimes they have access to the appropriate software on their computer; however, they are forced by their employer or some other circumstance to use an online service.

And there is no easy way to solve this problem, to ensure accessibility or require accessibility without a very active participation from government regulators.

My thinking is that we need to establish a couple of rules. And we need to have a way of enforcing that with fines to any entity that provides services that are not accessible.

Those fines would ensure action and they could also be used to finance initiatives that dedicates themselves to correcting accessibility problems.

So let me just finish by saying we have launched recently, about three weeks ago, a service called F123 Access which makes accessibility corrections on the client's side. In other words, whenever there is no way of making the laws or the activists ‑‑ when they are not able to make changes that are needed to the accessibility of online services, we still have a new option which is what we're calling F123 access which allows us ‑‑ my team or any of our partners to correct those accessibility problems at the client side.

In other words, the changes are made to the copy of the site on the computer of the end user, of the blind user. And that gives us another tool in our tool kit to make sure that people who are blind are not left behind.

So I get really excited about all this, and I talk too much. So I'm going to stop right here and then we can continue talking more interactively.

Thank you.


>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you, Fernando.

There was a point about the speaker names being spelled incorrectly. We have just passed on the list of names to the organization.

So thanks, Fernando, for that insight into the intersection between free software and disability.

I think it's an exciting project to do these things on the client side in a cloud‑sourced kind of manner.

We now move to Mishi Choudhary. Please take one minute to introduce yourself and five minutes for the intervention.

>> MISHI CHOUDHARY: My name is Mishi Choudhary. I'm a lawyer. I actually charge by the minute so maybe I should send Sathees a bill.

But I also run a nonprofit organization in India called and in the United States, Software Freedom Law Center.

I do represent the world's leading open source projects: The Free Software Foundation, Apache Software Foundation, OpenSSL, W and Leap. Think of a project and then blame me for all the legal stuff which they do.

So I think that's enough introduction and it doesn't cover a minute. I'm not that important.

What I want to concentrate my presentation on ‑‑ and Fernando makes good points already ‑‑ is that if you can't read it, you can't trust it.

Proprietary software is an unsafe building material, and Eben Moglen said that some time back. You can't inspect it. That was five years ago when he said that.

Last month, Volkswagen admitted it had rigged the proprietary software on 11 million of its diesel cars around the world so that they would pass emissions test when they were actually spreading smog.

What in 2013, one Edward J. Snowden demonstrated all technology that is obscure is dangerous to its users.

At the same time that this network is allowing humans to share and communicate in extraordinary ways, it's also allowing for surveilling and controlling human behavior like nothing has existed before.

The telecom oligopolies and the new data miners are controlling, predicting, and selling our behavior. Organizations of two nations busily get themselves inside 21 million SIM cards or more in a year to surveil any call they want, any time they want, without the cooperation of anybody.

The physiology of this network is controlled by software. Surveilling and predicting human behavior is the net of the new economy. That's what Snowden said in his reddit, surveillance is the business model of the Internet.

On top of that commercial layer goes government surveillance.

And the only way to change this behavior so that the network behaves in a way that people need it to behave, not the way that network in the middle wants it to behave, is by having transparent, free and open source software.

For a long time, my clients struggled with explaining free as in freedom, not free as in beer.

And then we came up with free libre and open source software, and then the open source.

And everyone thought Richard Stallman was a fanatic talking always about and insisting about freedom and, oh, that's just a disagreement between two camps.

Now, we realize he's right.

Any 21st century which is not the one imagined by Stallman or Eben is not a 21st century we all want to live in.

This is the last generation that gets to make that choice.

No pressure.

So a network which is constantly surveilling, constantly reporting, and the infrastructure which you cannot see is now obfuscated so much it becomes difficult. And for us who are ‑‑ or my clients who are making these building blocks or what we call the Internet to see what's really happening ‑‑ and what do free software developers do?

They engage in self‑assigned innovation.

When there's a medical problem, we ask, "Is there a doctor?" And they come to our rescue.

Now people are asking, "Is there an engineer in the room? There's a privacy problem."

That's why now the free as in freedom has become software that protects your freedom. If you were a part of the free and open source software movement, now it has actually lead to the Internet freedom movement; and there is no movement without Free and Open Source Software.

People's behavior which is controlled by their computers. They travel. They purchase. They socialize. And all their lives are lived in mediation of the machines which are operated by software.

The way those machines behave is determined entirely it. And the software which is not made by them or for them, not made with their interests at heart, software which they use and which is made by others for the benefit of others to control users and not to empower them.

And that's why the GBL licenses were made, for empowerment of the users, and all users and not just one kind of users, and not the programmers. And that's why it's different from open source, because that's for the programmers and not just the users.

Throughout the world, tens of thousands of young people have devoted themselves to making the software that everybody can use, share, distribute, modify in such a way that anybody who wants to read, share, or expand to increase its value and remove anything that spies on them or hurts them is free software.

Whatever you want to call it, but the primary purpose for it is to get our rights back.

That's why, as I said, free software matters a lot because of course free software is open source software with freedom. It's the freedom that matters.

That is why in this self‑assigned innovation, I present to you today and get out of the way something which we've been working for some time. And now that we have a new team, not only the legal team, but also the engineering team, and have more developers who have joined the privacy movement, we do have a successful product which we demonstrated last week in our annual conference in New York which is called a FreedomBox. It is a box which actually will offer you some freedom.

We did a long presentation, and this has been in the making for some time. You've seen us talk about it. You've seen our developers talk about it, and you've also seen a lot of announcements for us, but now it's successful one. .7 release is out. .8 should be out in January. And perhaps by March, we'll have a 1.0 release. But it actually works, privacy in a box.

Please remember anyone who is working on the Tor Project or various solutions like the FreedomBox are the most important people who are helping us realize what is user empowerment. We can talk about privacy, this great fuzzy concept; but until we talk about secrecy, anonymity which leads to autonomy and which is facilitated by all these developers who are doing the most important work of the century, there is no freedom.

That's why I would really like to present to you Free and Open Source Software, free as in protects your freedom and play just a small clipping from the video of the FreedomBox Foundation's release. There is a long video which demonstrates every part of it on our website,, and it's available. And we will be doing presentations with different software developers who are contributing to the project. I invite you to hack on freedom and come and join us. We are organizing hack‑a‑thons all over India, in Europe, as well as in the United States.

Come sit with us.

And if you think technology is not your thing, we will help you install FreedomBox.

If have you a 12‑year‑old at home or a six‑year‑old who runs Raspberry Pi, you can get freedom in 35 bucks. If you want to buy a router, it will be a QV truck which you can do it. And start young. Get everyone or just get your laptops or your computers or whatever you have, and we will tell you how to have some real privacy.

Need privacy? We have it and it works.

And I'm going to let the developer talk. That's just five minutes. For the rest of the video or any other information about how to get involved, if any of these privacy‑preserving projects you can write to us on or just go to

Can we have the video play, please.

>> SPEAKER IN VIDEO: We all use laptops, mobile phones every day to create access and content and share that.

But more of the usual ‑‑ more and more, the utility of these devices is coming from the cloud services. And these services are provided to us by data mining companies.

They put on face and then come out as email service providers, social networking providers, and function sharing providers; but in fact they are data mining companies.

And to them, we're just a commodity to be traded for profit.

Our privacy is something for them to be traded as profit.

The moment they start respecting our privacy, they won't make any money.

Let us for a moment imagine that we have a device in our home, in every home, and this device will provide us all of these services.

It will also store our data. It will sync this data to all our devices, mobile phones, laptops and so on.

It will be accessible from everywhere. And it will respect our privacy.

And most importantly, it will then become a personal cloud that we control rather than one that controls us.

And FreedomBox is that device.

This device must be a consumer electronics device, meaning its operation has to be as close to setting up and operating a personal smartphone rather than setting up a server by a system administrator.

So we're going to go through that setup process first.

So first I connect Internet cable from an ISP. And then I connect the power.

And that is how we turn on freedom one home at a time.

So by now ‑‑ actually, for quite some time now, FreedomBox is ready and waiting for us. Let's connect to it.

So I see FreedomBox network using the password that is already provided with the device. I connect to this wireless network.

And then I open up my browser. And then I visit a predesignated URL. And then I see the setup.

Imagine someone ‑‑ we're in a tight spot, and then someone has a medical emergency, and we say, "Is anyone here a doctor?"

And then doctor raises a hand and says, "Yes," and then we all believe it's the duty of the doctor to help the patient.

And in our society today, we have a serious problem.

Everything is monitored. It's not possible to freely communicate.

It's not possible to freely talk, write, or even think. So we have a massive problem with us.

And then I hear voices saying, "Is someone here an engineer?" because the problem is technical and a large part of the solution to this problem is also technical.

And then I raise my hand. And then I looked at the projects that are trying to solve this problem, and what I found is that FreedomBox is a project that is on the right goals with the right ideals. And so I happened to join the project.

And when I got there ‑‑ actually, I really raised my hand with a little bit of hesitance thinking what difference can I make coming to the project. And then I got there ‑‑ I showed up, and then I found a whole bunch of brilliant people working already on the problem and then contributing to the project.

And it's ‑‑ and FreedomBox project is just the tip of the iceberg.

And then we have James like the Linux project and a whole bunch of other people trying to build federated systems, trying to build peer‑to‑peer systems; and they're doing great strides. And FreedomBox is a critical part of this, trying to bring things together and make it simple for people to use and actually get to the homes.

>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you for that.

>> MISHI CHOUDHARY: That's just a small part of the video. It's 90 minutes long which tells you how to use various applications and how to actually anonymize traffic which is passing through.

It's still working. There are going to be various of these social networking things built in or something else.

Please look it up and assign yourself some innovation and make software that protects your own freedom.

Thank you.

>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you, Mishi. I think all of us can take a look at the longer version of the video as well.

In India, we're excited about it. There's been initiatives also of this kind, and we're hoping that some of the limitations of that are presently overcome.

We now move on to Corinto Meffe who is the advisor to the President and Directors of SERPRO in Brazil. He'll be speaking in Portuguese, and Fernando will be translating.

>> CORINTO MEFFE (through interpreter): Fernando is anxious to translate so he already started translating ahead of time.

In this initial minute, instead of talking just about me, I want to thank Judy and Mr. Babu, and the other colleagues at this table for the opportunity of sharing experiences with you. And so Fernando doesn't only translate machines, but also people.

And thanks to my friends for coming to listen to me speak in Portuguese in this event, in this such important event.

17 years dedicated to open source software, all this time in either public companies or public administration. First, I have to tell Judy that all of us are activists. This will calm her so that she knows not to lose perspective of the fight we are all involved in.

Babu brought us a number of important concepts such as neutrality, zero rating, connectivity, and access which are really important aspects of software and the whole issue of development.

And FreedomBox is one more element in this really important complex system that we consider the free Internet.

The synergies that occur with different fast, free and open source software projects and the network we call the Internet, they started to be lost with ‑‑ over time as the Internet developed. I'm going to bring up six worries, six concerns or challenges that relate to the concepts that have been already presented here.

First, the social and conceptual model of the society. Online we cannot just deal with this simplistic division of the public and the private. In the future, the common property, this will not just be a third way of thinking of property, it will be a model, a form of property that absorbs part of what we today call public property and part of what today we call private property.

Secondly, we also have to revise this concept of ‑‑ both the concept of public and that of private property. Online today there's a lot of confusion between public and universal.

Not everything that is universal is public. This means that in the future, a production chain, the mode of production, and the result of the production, they will take place in both dimensions, public and private.

What we need to ensure is that more and more production be publicized or made public for society.

I defend the creation of a public dimension at an international level.

The third issue is the difference between an ecosystem and an egosystem.

What we can observe today online is the overemphasis or stimulation of the egosystem.

Ecosystems are universal, public, and free.

All of them produce and all of them benefit from the result of what they produce.

My fourth concern is about a new capital that has come up online.

And that is the technical informational capital.

Just like we worry about access to online services and about the ownership of land in the past, just like we have to worry about ensuring access, we need to worry about making sure that the citizen is able to ‑‑ can be included on the Internet world.

This is penultimate point. Almost done.

We also worry about public services online which also have to have an international dimension. To keep it simple, Facebook has a vocation to be a public service managed ‑‑ that could be managed by an international organization such as the U.N.

And, finally, public investments they must be guided or directed to ecosystems that are truly free. Financing for private models are much larger, much larger by far.

What's needed is that funding should be half and half.

That way we can compare which are the ecosystems that truly bring the greatest benefit to society.

I finish by saying that the initial concepts of neutrality and zero rating, these are very important concepts. But if we truly want to find synergies on the Internet, we must ensure human rights for citizens, not citizens of the country but all citizens around the world. The issue of intellectual and industrial property, the training and capacity building for these people and public services offered to society must be thought of as ‑‑ in an international dimension.

Thank you very much.

>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you very much, Corinto.

>> CORINTO MEFFE (in English): Thank you very much for Fernando.

>> SATHEES BABU: So that was a refreshing bunch of perspectives, and we hope we'll take it up for discussions as we go forward.

We now move on to Sunil Abraham of the Center for Internet and Society, Bengaluru, India.

One plus five minutes.

>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: My name is Sunil, and I ‑‑ good afternoon. My name is Sunil, and I think my most important qualification is perhaps that I work with Pranesh at the Center for Internet and Society. I'd like to go straight into my presentation and start with a little story.

In 2005, I was in Tunis for the World Summit on Information Societies. I didn't of course understand all the Internet governance issues at stake. I was there to make a documentary with the BBC on Free and Open Source Software. And I had the privilege to meet the Minister of Culture of Brazil, Gilberto Gil; and even today I remain inspired by his leadership on matters connected to free software and the Brazilian leadership on matters connected to free software.

So thank you so much for your leadership.

Those were better time for the free software movement because the Geneva declaration explicitly referenced free software. Unfortunately, the WSIS+10 outcome document does not mention free software, does not mention open standards, does not mention open access, does not mention access to knowledge. It is an absolute shame, and I call upon all free software developers and activists in the audience to lobby their ministers and their embassies in New York to ensure that language connected to free software is in the WSIS+10 outcome document.

That is a very big fight that all of us have to fight, and we have little time for that fight.

So please go home and send emails and call your people in New York.

The second important fight is that we have to continue on education reform. More and more curricula across the world have become random neutral. But that is still not enough because there is insufficient capacity in schools and universities in many parts of the world to introduce young people to free software.

Therefore, we need a requirement that as part of school program and engineering schools, students are required to make contributions to the repositories of free software projects.

They can be very simple contributions. The simplest thing you could potentially do is localize a free software project. That is technically quite a rudimentary thing to do. But it will teach students how to work with the global free software community, how to work with version control systems, and will make them part of the free software movement.

This is something that we also have to focus on doing immediately.

The third thing is working on procurement mandates. When the government purchases software, it is important that the government uses its market power to promote free software.

We have been in Brazil this week, and we're using Google OCR and Google Translate to understand the Portuguese signs and menus.

And the tragedy is twofold, one, which Mishi has already covered and also the gentleman in the video, that the price we're paying is surveillance.

The second is every time we use Google's technology, Google's technology gets better. So our intelligence and our hard work is contributing to the strengthening of Google's monopoly.

This is also a terrible shame.

It's not just Google. There are many other proprietary companies that are in this space. But Google is the easiest example. And, therefore, governments must put large amounts of money, and the source of this money could be spectrum auctions.

The last time we auctioned spectrum in India, the government earned $14 billion.

If $1 billion of that $14 billion was invested back in the free software movement, then slowly we can begin to dismantle monopolies like Google.

Thank you so much.


>> SATHEES BABU: Yes. I think several important points have been raised.

However, we're running short of time. So we will pick up this for discussions in the question/answer session.

We now move on to Caroline Burle of the W3C Brazil Office and Center for Studies on Web Technologies, Brazil.

>> CAROLINE BURLE: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for an invitation to be part in this discussion.

And because the web is 26 years old and is one of the best platforms to run applications on the top, I'd like to mention the partners of open standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium for the open Internet.

So only because the web is open and is developed in a collaborative way, since its beginning, it actually enables people's creativity, fosters new business opportunities, and empowers citizens and connects people as never before, and makes possible and necessary to have all stakeholders in the discussion about the Internet governance.

So what's the meaning of open standard?

It means that anyone is able to know about it, to use it, to reuse it, to deploy, to modify, and to improve high standard because it's open of course.

So the process of the standard is open and collaborative.

In all these standards released by the W3C have the participation of its community.

So anyone can actually participate, collaborate to develop a standard.

And the main benefit of open standards is actually to provide access to everyone.

So the webpage can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the world.

Open standards also assure interpretability, our different devices of any types of data, internationalization, and no matter the language, you can use it.

So webpage developed according to open standards actually could open in any browser.

And, finally, but not least, open standards make the web accessible.

So as Fernando mentioned before, it does make possible that people with any kind of disability actually are able to navigate on their own. And to develop this kind of web accessibility, there's the initiative ‑‑ although Fernando doesn't actually know it yet, it's called the Web Accessibility Initiative, WAI.

So just to conclude ‑‑ I know we don't have much time ‑‑ the web makes possible for humans to interact on the Internet. So without use the web, most of us use the web and think of the Internet. Using the web. It's the interaction.

So there is no meaning in connecting device, connecting things, or even talking about infrastructure for keeping for keeping the best interface for human beings free and open.

So the final message I would actually like to bring here is the [poor audio] actually created this web space, and for anyone who would like to access it, it is

And it says, the web must be for all. It should be in everything and be organized by standards. The web must be accessible and reliable. It should have multiple authors and readers. It also must serve the democracy. And it should seek for socioeconomic development.

Also it must preserve its memory, and it must be decentralized.

Finally, it must be one web and the web of all so everyone should be part of it.

So just like to leave this message.

Thank you, again, Judy and Sathees and especially Fernando, for inviting us. And let's see what comes from the discussion. Right? Thank you.


>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you, Caroline, for that message about the universal web. It's extremely important.

We now move on to the last panelist, Pranesh Prakash, who is from CIS Bengaluru.

>> PRANESH PRAKASH: Good afternoon. My name is Pranesh Prakash. I'm a policy director at CIS. I'm also currently the legal lead of Creative Commons in India and was formerly an Access to Knowledge Fellow at the Yale Law School.

And I first came into the world of free software in I think around early 2000 or so by buying a magazine that along with it had a CD which contained multiple ‑‑ actually had multiple CDs which contained multiple Linux systems. So it had Mandrake. It had openSUSE. And I was just trying those out.

And then in university, again I was introduced to Gentoo which the computer lab at school used to run.

And, finally, I made the shift to using free software as my operating system and using Linux as my operating system in 2008 and haven't looked back since. And I'm quite an activisty free software advocate.

So with that background, I'll just quickly lay out what I think is a solution before going into some amount of analysis.

So what we need is free open source software with end‑to‑end encryption and traffic level encryption based on open standards which are decentralized and work through federated networks.

So this is what we need for communications, and this is entirely in line with what Mishi was saying, and her presentation I think is extraordinarily important. And the FreedomBox is a very, very important project to enable users not just privacy but security.

Now, one thing that was brought up is the difference between the public and the private online. I have a few thoughts on this.

Now, Frank La Rue, the former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression likens the Internet to what he calls la plaza publica, the public square. And, in fact, in the legally ‑‑ though legally it really isn't. It's more like shopping malls. They may have some semblance of publicness. You can walk through them, and they want more people in them, but really that's private property that you're treading on. And you can't really be part of the Internet without encountering private property.

It's all from your ‑‑ even if you run your own servers, in order to connect to others, you need to go through ISPs which are private. Even if you run your own ISP, in order to get through others on the network, you need to in turn connect to other ISPs which are private. So there's no option but to go through private property based on contractual relations when you're online.

But there is an exception. And the only exception that I can think of essentially which to a limited extent at the very least provides a public square online is Wikipedia.


It's a solution ‑‑ it's an open community that is built on collaboration that runs using free software. And that is an oasis in that way on the private Internet that we currently have.

And speaking about an open web which also was mentioned, well, most of what we do online really isn't ‑‑ not most. That might be a bit of an exaggeration ‑‑ but much of people's interactions online aren't really part of the open web. They're part of walled gardens, walled gardens like Facebook. And my colleague Sunil spoke about Google so I think it behooves me to go after Facebook now.

So Facebook is ‑‑ it represents all that is bad about the Internet. It takes this wonderful idea which is the open web and it ends up colonizing it.

It ends up locking it up. And that's a huge problem.

And in economic terms, the surplus that is generated, it prevents it from being distributed equally amongst all the users and in turn tries to internalize all the surplus, as much of the surplus that is generated. And that's a problem.

At the very least, what our governments should do at the very least ‑‑ and I actually think they should go beyond this ‑‑ but at the very least as a minimum, they should say we will not go on Facebook. We will not use Facebook until and unless you open up your APIs.

Most governments have their own web platforms where they interact with their citizens, where they not only provide information to their citizens but also get comments from their citizens.

Now, the problem is that's not where the citizens are.

Their citizens are on Facebook. And in order to get through to their citizens, they also have to be on Facebook.

But that forces people like me who wish to avoid Facebook and its evil machinations to actually go on Facebook to sign up to terms and services which I might not agree to, which I don't agree with, in order to interact in an easy form with my government online.

And the governments should hence say open up your APIs so that whenever we post a comment on Facebook, that also shows up automatically on our own platform. And when a citizen puts a comment on our platform about a particular policy, that will also show up on Facebook. And at the minimum, this should be done by governments.

A couple of other quick points. Do I have time, Sathees?

Okay. On the point of security and stability, free software is crucial not just to the web and these kinds of things that we put on top of the Internet but to the very heart of the Internet, to the very heart of what is called the domain name system of DNS.

Now, there are 13 DNS operators which ‑‑ root zone operators which exist.

Of those, at the very least, one ‑‑ VeriSign ‑‑ uses proprietary software for root zone administration.

It's not that this hasn't caused problems in the past. There have been undetected bugs in VeriSign's software that have caused issues. In 2004, there was a problem with glue records that affected AFNIC.

What we should insist as part of the iona transition process that is currently happening is that is VeriSign no longer be allowed to use proprietary software that is insecure but rather be forced to use free software like buy 9 or med DNS or other free software projects that exist precisely for this purpose. And there's a diversity of free software around DNS management because that helps the security and stability of the Internet.

On the other hand, VeriSign, which is the root zone maintainer, which essentially is a first amongst equals kind of position still uses proprietary software that none of us can examine for security vulnerabilities. And that's a problem.

I have some other comments which I'll leave for the questions and answers, but I'll end it here for now.

Thank you very much.


>> SATHEES BABU: We now go on to the ‑‑ we have 24 minutes left.

And we move on to the question and answer session.

Because we want to maximize the participation, we will limit questions to one minute.

We will start with an online remote question.

Siranush, are you ready with the question?


>> SATHEES BABU: Please go ahead.


There's a question from Glenn McKnight.

"I think one of the biggest opportunities in open hardware, aka TARP Agreement, et cetera, projects like Open Wheelchair and others are showcasing how technology is changing the lives of the Internet users. Can the panelists provide examples in their own community how open hardware is changing the lives of their communities. Thank you."

>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you, Siranush.

I will cloud the IoT with open hardware, and if any of the panelists would like to respond to that question.

Any way in which open hardware or IoT has transformed your community or society.

Do you want to park that and go ahead and take the next question and come back to this later?

Okay. The floor is open, please. We will answer this question as we go forward.

>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: Yes, I do have an example. There's a company called Solar Ear which produces hearing aids for people who have hearing disabilities. And that's open hardware that's available without any patents. And it's dramatically cheaper than conventional medical devices or conventional hearing aids.

It's called Solar Ear.

Thank you.

>> SATHEES BABU: The floor is open.

>> AUDIENCE: Hello. Can you hear me?

Well, my name is Anahuac. I'm from the free software movement in Brazil. And I have a couple of warnings and just important to say.

The first is to say that Brazil right now is spending more than $40 million in Microsoft Office licenses. Our government just abandoned free software.

And I miss Gilberto Gil as well.

The second thing is ‑‑ well, I think we have to do our part on it. Stop using proprietary software. You probably believe that you alone doesn't make the difference. But you're wrong. You did. Every single step, every single person counts.

Stop using Mac, Windows, and all this crap.

It's not good for you; it's not good for society.

Well, in the end, replace your operational systems. You can keep the hardware if you like it. You can replace your social connections. And we have options.

You talk about Wikipedia. But I can give you a very good example as diaspora is a free and reliable and federated social network that could replace Facebook in a very good way.

And in the end, and not less and a lot important, is we must stop to put open source in the same level of free software. It is not the same.

It is huge ‑‑ the difference is big, big as in Linux is not even free software anymore. And we are doing that in the wrong way. We're spreading that open source is good and open source is the word is not.

Don't say FOSS. FOSS is a misleading contraction of things.

So, please, free software stands for freedom. Open source is a technical way to see it.

So if you stand for freedom and reliable way to do and solve that, keep it simple. Say free software and no open source.

Thank you very much.


>> SATHEES BABU: Yes. We will open it up for the panelist to respond. Mishi wants to say something.

>> MISHI CHOUDHARY: I was just getting so inspired by Sunil's 2005 story and then you told me this story.

So ‑‑ but I do agree with you that each of you make a lot of difference.

I was telling Pranesh the other day, we were sitting next to each other in a workshop and didn't realize that we were tweeting and talking, that the coolest person on the panel is the one which possibly runs a ThinkPad these days, not an Apple, because everybody is running an Apple.

But if you want sexy, slim, very good looking computers which can run free software, Google is going to help you, and HP is going to help you because they are putting all their money in Chrome devices. They are very, very cheap devices ‑‑ they will fit in your handbags, ladies, pay attention ‑‑ and they look very simple and they are very good. And all you need is some software, the bits, and there is a little screwdriver you need to fix it.

And, again, a plug. We did that technical presentation last year. Some of our developers, our clients did it, how to deChrome a notebook.

So deChroming of those sexy laptops is also a video available. Get them and you don't have to run the King of the Undead's fancy luxury jewelry items all the time.

And that does make a lot of difference.

And it's no longer the technical difference between open source and free and open source software. That was such an important point you made.

Open source is very good, and I give ‑‑ I advise to many projects which is license agnostic sometimes but BSD or MIT is not the same as GBL.

And freedom is important also for free as in protects your freedom but just any software which only you can read but not modify, redistribute, and share is not free software.

And Martin Fink, the CTO of Hewlett‑Packard, has said the world needs more GPL software. We are now seeing a lot of projects using AGPL or GPL software. Please use that software because that's will actually in the long run keep us free.

And many of the points ‑‑

>> SATHEES BABU: Thanks, Mishi. Thanks for the new word deChrome, like jail break, new word.

Yes, Sunil? Would you like to answer?

>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: Just a comment on the terminology, whether we should use free software or open source.

I asked this question to Richard Stallman in 2004 I think, and I asked him is there any difference between free software and open source software? And what he said was, go to the license page on the Free Software Foundation and go to the license page or authorized ‑‑ open source license complaint software ‑‑ licenses on the open source initiative page, and it's 90 percent overlap.

So, legally, there is not much of a difference in terms of the license. It's only an emphasis when you're advocating.

For me, the end result is more important than the language. So if my government is hostile to free software, I will use any term that they like, public software, open source software, as long as they shift to free software.

Thank you.

>> SATHEES BABU: Sunil, I am glad that you survived the explosion after you asked. I can imagine what would have happened.

Yes. Pranesh.

>> PRANESH PRAKASH: Get the question and then ‑‑

>> SATHEES BABU: Okay. You want to ‑‑ please go ahead.

>> AUDIENCE: Hi there. My name is Andrew Sullivan.

Part of the discussion here was very interesting.

I think that there's a thread maybe that could be pulled out a little harder so I'm going to ask the panelists to talk about it.

And that is the difference between the private way that the Internet has been built up and the closing of services that are built on top of that private network. Because the magic, of course, of the Internet is that it's an internet, right? It's the network of networks of networks, et cetera. And it's almost miraculous that what we've managed to build on top of these privately held things is this completely public and open system.

It seems to me there's a difference between that piece and the piece where what we're seeing is gradual encroachment and closing of the systems that are built on top of that.

So if you want to work a little bit on the distinction there, that would be helpful.


>> SATHEES BABU: Right. Does anybody want to respond to that?

>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: I think the way to think about it is do we want to liberate people from the hegemony of proprietary software only to entrap them in the hegemony of free software? That is the question we must ask.

The BSD license gives you the freedom to be enslaved or the freedom to enslave.

So in a sense, Apple takes free software project and thanks to the BSD license, Apple can add a proprietary layer to the free software project and then make it a proprietary product.

And, similarly, companies like Google and Facebook leverage free software but then build closed platforms. It's like building prisons using free software.

Unfortunately, for us, the licenses allow them to do that.

And perhaps a perfect world is a world with that type of diversity.

The sad news is the proprietary side is winning. More and more the web is becoming closed. More and more we see a reemergence of proprietary standards. So we have to set right that balance again.

But we don't want a world where there are government mandates that you can only use free software or only use GPL licensed software. That would be perhaps an unfortunate world with insufficient competition between different actors.

>> SATHEES BABU: Well, I think Mishi, but we go to Fernando first.

>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: I think we have a challenge, and I think the challenge is human nature.

If people valued their freedom as much as we think they should, we wouldn't be having this discussion.



>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: So it is unfortunate.

I think we have to keep our ‑‑ we have to keep our values as they are. I think this group, this community, is in the right path; however, we have to learn to market our goods differently.

I think simplicity of use. I think simplicity of installation. I think there's a lot that we must do to make freedom more marketable.

Now, having said that, I think ‑‑ and I am all in favor of not having governments dictate everything in my life. Yes, I agree with what was just said. But there are a few key moments where we need government intervention because there are very clear market failures.

So, for example, my ability to buy hardware where I choose the software that it should come preinstalled.

So if we are going to improve the way we market freedom, we're going to need to be on equal terms. So if the main manufacturers around the world only give us the option of buying hardware and has the price included in it buying hardware that comes preinstalled, there's no way open source is going to be able to compete with that. In fact, we are losing the battle.

So I believe in the absence of government in most activities in my life, but I think it can play a very crucial role at key moments in the value chain, one of them being the moment at which hardware is built and software is preinstalled.

>> SATHEES BABU: You want to add anything, Pranesh?

There's one question waiting.

>> PRANESH PRAKASH: So should we take questions first and then ‑‑ yes, that will be easier since there are only ten minutes left.

>> AUDIENCE: So hi. My name is Kemel Zaidan. I work as a technical evangelist for a local web which is the biggest hosting company here in Brazil. And I'm also open source activist and a free software activist in Brazil.

Just ‑‑ I know he knows my respect for his beliefs; but before I make my question, I just want to state that I think that we should ‑‑ open source movement and free software movement should get united and join forces in order to achieve a more free world.

And the question is: What should we do when the government forces us to use proprietary software?

In Brazil, we have given many steps towards a better situation. But there are situations that the government simply forces us to use proprietary software like when you have to fill a form that will be downloaded in proprietary format like Microsoft Office, or .doc. And this is nowadays easily overcome than ‑‑ there are workarounds for that because ‑‑ for softwares like LibreOffice have ‑‑ they're very compatible with this right now.

But there are situations that things like that are more difficult. I'm going to give you an example here.

When I used to work for Linux Magazine as editor‑in‑chief, one of the few proprietary boxes that we had was to use the ECPF. ECPF here in Brazil is like a number that we ‑‑ it's kind of the Social Security number everybody has to have. It's not the ECPF, but it's the version for companies. It's like ECNPJ. Okay?

And that is something from ‑‑ that VeriSign sells for you, and it only used to work on Windows machines.

If you want to make your incomes ‑‑ taxes ‑‑ to pay your taxes, you can have an e‑certificate which is issued by another company which may be VeriSign. I'm not sure. But it only works on Windows machines, too. So you don't have ways to work that around.

Okay. You can have a virtual machine to run a Windows machine. But the government is just saying for you that you have to use proprietary software, you have to buy a license from this company. And it doesn't give me a way around.

So like if I want to ‑‑ if I don't want to pirate software, and I want to be a good citizen and pay my taxes, I'm obligated to buy this.

So I would like to know how stuff like this are in other countries and what we as a community should do to fix that problem.

Thank you.

>> AUDIENCE: Good afternoon. My name is Marco Konopacki. I'm advisor on the Minister of Justice.

I think it's very important to put lights on the license debate, but I want to put attention on other points.

Thinking about the consideration in centralization of contents by some platforms, I think the major problem is not about open ‑‑ that platforms already exist, but new protocols to new platforms emerge.

Look at the Mayo protocol, for example. It was viewed as a protocol, and it has an RFC specification to interchange messages. Why we don't think about the social platform protocols open and free to interchange this kind of information. It's just a reflection that I want to share with you, and if you can comment about it.

Thank you.

(Discussion off microphone)

>> AUDIENCE: All right. I'll be really brief.

Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Mohammed [poor audio] University in the IGF Fellowship Program.

I want to make a quick remark here that, first of all I'm a lawyer. So I'm not from the technical community, but I say that because there's a lot of services in Brazil as my colleague here just said that uses digital certification so ‑‑ which will rise on the Java platform in order to successfully work. So to see how much problems and heart aches that platform gives not only to me but also to TI departments and citizens all over the country.

So we have [poor audio] does not function the way in instances that are not proprietary, like Windows for example.

So with that in mind, lots of lawyers and citizens are tied to the proprietary softwares that are in the machines ‑‑ and in governmental services or the electronic ‑‑ for example.

So that's something that has to be thought of so we can give people the freedom of choice for whichever software or hardware they will use while they still have access to the services and applications that they need.

Thank you very much.

>> SATHEES BABU: Are there any other questions from the floor?

>> AUDIENCE: My name is Alex Garkuru. I use free and open source software. I can't help ‑‑ can't use the other. It gives me a headache ‑‑ and I'm being honest ‑‑ when I start seeing ‑‑ (laughter) ‑‑ 2005 is the year I got combatted.

Now, there is a question that was posed at the U.S.A. hack ‑‑ the 2015. I've been triggered to ask that question by the last question that was just asked.

But going forward, there is a likelihood that there will be insurance required for software that is closed because you don't know what the closed software does. And as a big firm that relies so much on that software, there is a tendency ‑‑ a likelihood that insurance may be demanded that the software does what it promises it's doing besides its notice and revelations.

Now, isn't this one of the strategies that we could adopt that we say, look, we don't want the headaches the lawyers are getting. We don't know what the software is doing. But for us to be sure that it's doing the right thing it's doing, the firms that are doing the closed software must pay certain amount of money to assure whoever is using them that it's going to deliver what it is. Because it cannot be just giving money to those softwares but then they don't take responsibility.

It's just a thought. I wanted to hear your views.

>> SATHEES BABU: We are running out of time.

So now we have the wrap up, one minute each from all of panelists.

>> MISHI CHOUDHARY: We don't disagree much, but I was going to start with disagreeing with you.

I'm not ‑‑ I really like what free software offers. The word free and open source software is the term we use. Whether it's BSD, MIT, GBL, AGBL, I don't know. Richard probably did not consult his lawyer. That's why I would like him to talk to us when he says, okay, BSD and GPL are the same. They're not the same licenses, or even 90 percent similar.

But why ‑‑ it is important to realize that we do have to push for a lot of free software, whether it's in government or in education or in various other areas is because if you cannot see it, you cannot trust it.

And that's why Alex's point about insurance, there are indemnity clauses in software procurement, whenever companies or other people do it. And insurance companies with free software and other things is a whole complicated matter. I won't get into it. But I do think we all have to take a decision what we are pushing for.

I don't think that's like saying from getting into one kind of tied down to another lock in of free software. Because free software doesn't lock in anyone. You can just do whatever you want with it.

That's why our ‑‑ this time, even Microsoft has realized it and conceded it.

For those of you who were paying attention or not paying attention, on November 4, Microsoft Corporation and the Red Heart Corporation actually got into a partnership now which will help customers embrace hybrid cloud computing; and on Azure, you will be able to run Linux because Microsoft also realizes there is no other way but free software.

So somebody said how do we get to open source and free software together? They're already together. There are differences because there are 70 kind of licenses. But they're already together. We're just moving towards something different.

Education is ‑‑ Sunil earlier was saying about all the platform companies, and I was showing ‑‑ he made a clarion call of right for WSIS+10. And I looked at the form. It's the Google forms, and he was absolutely right. It's these companies everywhere.

So if they can be everywhere, why can't free software be everywhere? Let's get into everything and turn freedom on.

>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: Just to apologize, Mishi, I made my point very poorly.

I wasn't saying that the GBL license and BSD license were equivalent. All I was saying is if you go to the free software website and look at the list of licenses, and if you go to the open source initiated website and look at the list of licenses, they both have copy left and copy center licenses.

So on both sides, the BSD license is considered an acceptable license. And on both sides, the GPL license is considered an acceptable license.

>> MISHI CHOUDHARY: Then we agree. All you have said is we agree.

>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: Sorry. Sorry.

>> CAROLINE BURLE: Okay. Thank you. I'll go on another direction.

And can I talk so low?

Okay. Great. Thank you.

So I ‑‑ on the idea of the social platform protocol. I think we should think more about that. And just to go a little bit in the other direction, I think also we can think about the partners of the content.

So it's very important that that content is concentrated. I agree with that.

And to make my point again about the web, of course I know we're talking mostly about software and free software and open software, but I still feel that we have to think about all that on the web.

So just to claim here to everyone that you must think about decentralize the web again because it's one of the main points that were raised here, that we're really in danger of getting not only the Internet being ‑‑ again ‑‑ not again, it's there again. But also gets us back to the core of the centralized web so just to make this point.

Thank you.

>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: Okay. So I think what I would like to bring up is that although everyone here is very sophisticated, not just about their own rights and wishes, but also about technology, we have to think and remember that 99 percent of the population out there finds using Mozilla Firefox incredibly audacious.

So if you have the chance to move somebody from Windows to Arch, Mangallo [spelled phonetically], Red Hat, whatever you want, yes, take that chance. But if you don't have the chance, at least move them from Internet Explorer to Firefox, at least move them from Microsoft Word to LibreOffice.

The smallest step is not so small when you take it as a long‑term impact.

And we should not be all or nothing. We should definitely take every opportunity we have to undermine vendor locking.

Thank you.


>> CORINTO MEFFE (through interpreter): I want to mention that it is not just Facebook that has ‑‑ that could be managed ‑‑ not just this type of service that could be managed by the United Nations. I could mention many other systems from ‑‑ search engines like Google’s to operating systems.

Whenever we are in doubt about the size of the privates and the public online, always ask yourself the question: With whom would I want to leave my data?

If you answer public, certainly you don't owe anything to anyone.

We should not confuse that when we are in the private section, that this will ever mean any privacy, because at any moment that data can be used for commercial purposes.

With the agreement of the public infrastructure, look at the confusion I have generated here at the end. It's just ‑‑ of public and private, they change when you're talking about a network. The public, the private, and the privacy of the future are not the same as those we are discussing right now.

And it's the international organizations that are going to allow us to define these new areas in a better way because in our individual countries alone, it's just not going to be enough.

Thank you.

>> PRANESH PRAKASH: This is Pranesh again, for the record.

I think there are such excellent points that were raised.

Now, I'd like to remind Sunil when he speak about the need for mix that one of his quotes which is that evil is a function of size. So a mix is great, but that becomes a problem when you don't have a choice as to what you pick.

So do you really have a choice but to be on Facebook or to use WhatsApp online or Viber? And the answer is in most countries, you don't really have a choice. You have to be on these platforms in order to take place in conversations in the public sphere.

So in order to be a public citizen, you don't have a choice but to submit to these kinds of terms and services to use proprietary services like them.

And on a linked note, on concentration and centralization, so I think that they are two very important concepts. Decentralization and federation both are equally important.

So email which was used as an example is an example of a federated service, a federated standard. You can be on Gmail and send mails to Yahoo. And from Yahoo, you can send mails to my CIS account, to my account. All of these will work because regardless of which network you're on, it's a federated service.

Similarly, there was a attempt through the late 2000s to get a standard for social networks. It was called Open Social. Facebook killed it.

Google was pushing for it, but Facebook killed it.

Now, it still exists. And, recently, and I'm very glad to note, at the beginning of this year, January 1, 2015, it has gone to the World Wide Web Consortium.

W3C has taken Open Social into itself, and I really do think that the future is in getting a lot of these components of an open web into web browsers.

And I really do still have some hopes for Open Social, whether it comes in the form of regulation or through market forces.

But it will be a tough fight, and it will be a difficult fight.

Just one last point that I'll make, which is that all of us make compromises and make tradeoffs of various sorts. Free software on phones is difficult. It's almost impossible because the base band is closed because you need proprietary drivers very often for WiFi or for Bluetooth. And even on Tizen phones which are based on new Linux, it's impossible to have a completely free software stack.

But we can do little things as Fernando pointed out such as using on an Android‑based phone, using F‑Droid as your play store rather than the Google Play Store, using that as your software repository.

And the other thing is it's very important to recognize these tradeoffs and to not make tradeoffs that aren't necessary.

Usually by default, you're making tradeoffs at privacy and security which are not necessary at all.

As long as they're conscious tradeoffs, you're free to be enslaved. But, usually, we don't make those conscious tradeoffs, and that really is the problem.

Last ‑‑ I'll just end with a quote that is often attributed to Gandhi but really is not something he said and belongs to the global knowledge commons, which is "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Thank you.

>> SATHEES BABU: Thank you, Pranesh.

We are very much out of time so I would not like to attempt to summarize.

All I will say is that one of the takeaways for me from the discussions is that we probably have to adopt an incremental approach to the issue of how to transition from proprietary platforms to free software platforms.

In the context of India, just a few months back, our government declared an open source ‑‑ what is called OSS policy ‑‑ for e‑governance where they mandated that all the new e‑governance programs must use what they call as open source.

Now, part of that is because of the fact there is a growing civil society movement in different parts of the country that have been advocating the use of free software for governance.

And eventually this has happen ‑‑ we started the journey in 2001 in India, and it's taken about 14 years for us to reach the level where the government finally acknowledges the role of free software.

So, as you can follow, it requires civil society. It requires committed activists to play that initial catalyzing role.

With this, I'd like to conclude this workshop. I'd like to thank Judy, Fernando, Mishi, Sunil, Corinto, Caroline, Pranesh, and Siranush who were the panelists and the moderators. And I'd like to thank all the participants who were here this afternoon and also the remote participants who joined us for this workshop.

Thank you very much, and a big hand to all the speakers.


(Session concludes at 15:46)