According to one commissioner of the CNIL (National Computing and Freedom Commission): free software is the "only viable alternative"

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In an article published in the newspaper "Le Monde", François Pellegrini, IT Technician and commissioner for the CNIL, called for free software to be given priority to ensure the digital sovereignty of the country and more generally, greater consistency of the State's strategy.

François Pellegrini is an IT professor at the University of Bordeaux, an ardent defender of free software and a figure in the fight against software patents; he is also a CNIL commissioner. In an article in Le Monde dated the 25th of June and entitled "Digital sovereignty: "The use of free software constitutes the only viable alternative", he denounced a strategy he describes as anachronistic Colbertism in the State's wish to build "fortresses" to block access to our territory.

On the "preference" of free software

"Digital sovereignty" requires our administration bodies, companies and citizens to be provided with a fair IT infrastructure. However, financing specific "Made in France" SE doesn't make any sense [...] The use of free software constitutes the only viable alternative." Reiterating the advantages of free software in terms of sharing, durability, job searching and safety, François Pellegrini once again referred to the digital republic law project having included an "encouragement" for free software in the law. "To promote digital sovereignty whilst refusing priority for free software is inconsistent. Policies are built on priorities, not "preferences". Such a priority is in no way contrary to the "technological neutrality" of the public markets. In fact, free licences are not technology but rather a mode of organisation for the creation and distribution of value."

Necessary investment

François Pellegrini calls upon the State to invest in the development of a free software package to meet these requirements supported by the current vendors and service providers. He is basing this on the need for ergonomic solutions: "The latter is what entices users into turning to "free" applications and services but which lead to massive leaks of sensitive data to third party platforms". Finally, François Pellegrini denounced the censoring of the general operability repository (RGI), which is supposed to prioritise open formats, revealing the importance of lobbies for private interests and third party States.

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