Tech Advice For The New Administration
Andy Updegrove wrote some advice in December that I believe should be on the top of the pile.
To this, I would add just this:
- OPEN Standards—Where there is an open technology standard, it should be used in preference to any closed, proprietary protocol or format. There should not be any “this file requires XYZ software” or “this site requires XYZ browser or operating system”. If it is paid for the taxpayers, it should be available in open protocols / formats which can be accessed with various implementations on various operating systems.
- OPEN Source—Because purchasing software is "taking" funds from everyone to deliver to a company, there should be an automatic and enforceable preference for products which provide the most benefit to everyone, without unduly restricting the ability of taxpayers to access/modify/distribute the source of the software they paid for.
- OPEN exposure—there are always going to be some things that someone in an agency wants to conceal and lock up. More often than not, it turns out that it is something that should have been brought into the open all along. It is important that our government be open with us whenever it can. In many cases, data that shouldn’t be exposed also shouldn’t have been collected to begin with. We should make agencies justify what they collect by revealing it to everyone.
By emphasizing the OPEN, along with the things Andy wrote about, we have a chance to reboot our technology advancement and benefit the whole country’s citizenship.
Finally, emphasize competition in everything we buy or build. Rather than using all one brand of software, we should be using multiple brands that all follow the same open standards. Rather than using one brand of hardware, we once again should be using multiple brands that all follow the same open standards. Where vendors refuse to provide that, use taxpayer funds to build something that does and then make it available to all of us.