Interessiert fragte Michael Dell nach der Position der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Informationstechnik zu Open Source und proprietärer Software. Frau Rogall-Grothe schloss einen Eingriff in den Wettbewerb aus. Sie unterstützt aber den Einsatz von Open Source Software in der Bundesverwaltung.
A curious Michael Dell asked about the position of the Federal Government Commissioner for Information Technology on Open Source and proprietary software. Mrs. Rogan-Grothe ruled out an intervention in the competition. However, she supports the use of open source software in the federal administration.
You may wonder why a source code disclosure preference was an “intervention” in competition. Precisely, from an ordoliberal perspective the perfection of competition via governmental procurement is one of the justified interventions of a government in the market. Wait-and-see Laissez-faire leads to suboptimal market allocations, stifles market access and innovation, in this case at the expense of the German citizens and the markets. Inaction also casts serious doubt on the ability to act in our government. After all insufficient source code disclosure endangers the security of a public critical information infrastructure.
Apparently the Bundes CIO keeps a low profile on security concerns:
Auch wird es ein gemeinsames Aktionsprogramm des BMWi und BMI zum Thema Cloud Computing geben. …Dell bietet bereits Cloud Computing für große Unternehmen an und baut auch Private Clouds für sichere Umgebungen.
Also there will be a joint action program of the Federal Ministries of Economics and Interiour on cloud computing. … Dell already offers cloud computing for large enterprises and is also building private clouds for secure environments.
First of all I don’t think it suits the dignity of a public office to endorse the commercial agenda of a vendor in a press release. The mere consideration of a cloud operator from third countries for a critical Federal information infrastructure seems insane unless the Ministry of the Interior believes it is appropriate to grant access to their colleagues from these third countries. I strongly doubt so but you never know. The European Commission for instance even outsources critical parts of their staff selection process to third country operators.