Estonia – government software is now public software
The Baltic Republic of Estonia has clearly taken note of the Free Software Foundation Europe’s Pubic Money Public Code campaign to have publicly funded software released as free software.
Joinup,the EU’s news site for open source IT developments reports that the Estonian government decided to make all government software publicly available.
The Estonian Parliament, the Riigikogu, approved the necessary changes to the Estonian State Property Act on 12 May 2021 and the the new rules came into effect on 1st June 2021.
All software to which the Estonian state owns the property rights in whole or part shall henceforth ould be made available publicly. If only parts are owned by the state, those parts owned by the state will be made available.
Under the new regulations, the authority in charge of the software shall decide if the software is to be made available and has to provide the following:
- a description of the public software to be made available for use;
- the conditions of use of the public software to be made available.
However, there are some restrictions on the release of publicly-funded software to the pubic. For example, if such a release would be detrimental to the state, such as a potential threat to public order and national security or cybersecurity reasons, in which case the authority in question can refuse to make the software publicly available.
With his move, Estonia joins other European countries such as Spain, Italy and France, which already publish most of government-owned software publicly
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