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Citizen participation

There are two processes in the public sphere that we all depend on but that few of us really understand. And what's worse is that both are in trouble. » Read more

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U.S. Department of Labor applies Creative Commons license to all work created with $150M grant

Creative Commons licenses

Creative Commons (CC) actively works to support foundations, governments, IGOs, and other funders who create, adopt and implement open policies. We believe publicly funded resources should be openly licensed resources.

To support these and other emerging open policy efforts, CC is about to launch, with multiple global open organizations, an Open Policy Network and Institute for Open Leadership.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has led the way in using open policy requirements in solicitations for grant requirements first with its Career Pathways Innovation Fund Grants Program, » Read more

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The state of open source at the VA (Veterans Affairs)

open source in government

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the second largest agency of the US federal government. It employs more than 280,000 people, and with an annual budget close to $150 billion it provides health care services to close to 8.7 million patients, and benefits to close to 23 million veterans.

The VA also operates the nation's largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, readjustment counseling centers, and other facilities. And, the agency has been one of the most progressive ones in the federal goverment on adopting open source at multiple levels. » Read more

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UK government continues strong focus on open standards

open document format standards

A great deal of excitement has been generated by UK Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude's forceful announcement in late January that the UK government intends to mandate the adoption of compulsory document format standards in public administrations.

In the on-going struggle of policy makers seeking to break away from procurement practices that have led to proprietary lock-in, limited interoperability, and excessive costs, the UK government has signaled that they fully intend to level the playing field not by mandating a preference for free or re-used software as in Italy and France, but by mandating choice through the requirement of open standard document formats (not just .odf, but other open document standards too) in procurement. » Read more

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How to get started in civic hacking

citizen participation

What is civic hacking?

Seventy people gathered together one sunny Oakland afternoon to volunteer and improve their city. There were no rakes or yard tools normally seen at volunteer-day events though. No paint brushes, no trash bags, no canned soup bins. These seventy people were laden with laptops and were volunteering to improve the city’s website. » Read more

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The drive to open data provides opportunities for tech community

Open Data Now

The open source movement can trace its beginnings to a famous strategy session held in Palo Alto, CA in February 1998, where the term "open source" was coined. That meeting led to the Open Source Definition, to advocacy for the use of open source software, and, fairly quickly, to worldwide recognition of open source principles. » Read more

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DARPA government research agency publishes catalog of open source projects

catalog of open source projects

The Defense Advance Reseach Project Agency (DARPA) is one of the government-sponsored research agencies that most boldly explores the future of science and technology. Given that many of its research projects have military applications, it has been traditional for the agency to be secretive about them. In recent years, however, DARPA has been embracing the benefits of open source, particularly for promoting rapid innovation. Last week, the agency opened to the public a new portal featuring a catalog all its open source projects.

» Read more

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What are you doing for Open Data Day 2014?

Open data

So, with much help from various community members, I am pleased to say we are starting to gear up for Open Data Day 2014 on February 22.

From its humble beginnings of a conversation between a few friends who were interested in promoting and playing with open data, last year Open Data Day had locally organized events take place in over 100 cities around the world. Check out this video of open data day in Kathmandu last year.

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Italy is latest to promote open source software in public procurements

open source software in government

In December, the Italian government issued final rules implementing a change to procurement law that now requires all public administrations in the country to first consider re-used or free software before committing to proprietary licenses. Importantly, the new rules include an enforcement mechanism, which can, at least in theory, annul decisions that do not follow these procedures. » Read more

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A timely call for a secure yet open cloud

Open Cloud Declaration

In mid-November, the open source/open standards advocacy group, Open Forum Europe (OFE), released an "Open Cloud Declaration," which identifies ten principles to help policy makers, industry, and other stakeholders find "a global and open approach to Cloud technologies and solutions."

It is not a coincidence, of course, that the Open Cloud Declaration was released during the same week that officials from the European Commission were meeting at a summit in Berlin to discuss data protection and cloud computing policy. These leaders (as well as policy makers in other countries, such as Brazil) are weighing their reactions in response to the ongoing revelations regarding data collection by the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA). » Read more

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