FSF India’s call for a free digital society supported by free software
It is election time in India. All political parties are finalizing their election manifestos. Free Software Foundation India (FSF India) proposes all the political parties to pledge to create policies and announce their commitment to protect digital freedom at a time when the social and digital life is increasingly becoming digitized.
Digital technology in a free society must respect users’ freedom. India will move towards free software — software that respects the four essential freedoms: 1. to run the program, 2. study and change its source code, 3. redistribute unchanged, and 4. redistribute with changes.
India will advance towards digital freedom on six fronts.
- For digital sovereignty, India will cease installation of non-free software in government agencies, then over time replace currently used non-free software with free software. E-governance must use only free software.
- For education in freedom, India will have schools teach, distribute and promote only free software and free textbooks, and explain the civic reasons.
- For citizens’ digital security, India will make digital products safe by requiring firmware to be free, and limit digital systems from amassing and keeping huge collections of personal data.
- For a free web, India will make the software contained in web pages respect users’ freedom too.
- For freedom in digital commerce, India will implement a special kind of digital cash that allows users to pay moderate sums to a web site anonymously but doesn’t let the web site conceal its income. This will make it feasible to put a stop to commercial tracking of people’s web activities.
- For freedom of digital expression, India will guarantee that no web material can be blocked or removed by government without due process of law.