Open IT has arrived: US presidential candidates campaigning for it

Campaigning on an "open" platform is now sexy. We have arrived.

When U.S. presidential candidates start promoting their open-source and open-document platforms, you know that the open-source movement has finally arrived. I mean, what could be more flattering than to be someone's five-second sound bite?

OK, lots of things. But I still liked reading that Barak Obama has made open document formats part of his campaign, as he noted in a recent speech at Google:

We have to use technology to open up our democracy. It's no coincidence that one of the most secretive Administrations in history has favored special interests and pursued policies that could not stand up to sunlight. As President, I'll change that. I'll put government data online in universally accessible formats.

Namely, ODF. Maybe. Or not.

Actually, in a clear indication that Obama has a good future in politics, he didn't actually name any specific proposals related to ODF. In fact, there's no saying what, specifically, he meant.

If you read his IT plan [PDF], Obama intends to save the universe with IT, starting the day he's elected. Would open source be part of that? Maybe. It's already a huge part of U.S. government IT, of course ( as much as 55 perceant ), but it's hard to save the universe anew when it's already being saved by open source.

Regardless, it's good to see that Obama's staff is savvy about open formats and such. But that's a given, I suppose. Open source/open formats are a province of tomorrow's leaders. They're being taught it in school and get hands-on experience with open source from ever younger ages. It's just a matter of time before it goes from being campaign fodder to the established regime.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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