Free Software & Open Data

Pirates support the promotion of software that can be used, analyzed, disseminated and modified by anyone. Free/Libre Open Source Software is essential for users’ control of their own technical systems and significantly contributes to strengthening the autonomy and privacy of all users.


Free Software, Formats, and Protocols in Public Administration

Citizens’ data must be processed, managed, and secured with Free Software tools whenever possible. Proprietary software may only be used as long as Free Software cannot effectively be used for that specific purpose, and the option of creating such a piece of software is not viable.

Free Software reduces administrative costs, promotes local technical support and significantly strengthens security – for example, by allowing anyone to quickly check for malicious, vulnerable or backdoored code embedded within the software. We will drive the migration of the public sector to Free Software so that there is no longer a dependency on specific suppliers.

Citizens and businesses must never be forced to use proprietary software when dealing with public administration or any other communication with their government. It must never be based on proprietary forms of communication designed to only work with specific, usually non-free software. Instead, it must use open, interoperable, vendor-neutral protocols and formats.

Free Software Funding and Development

Free software, which often powers critical infrastructure, is usually maintained by a few volunteers in their spare time. We want to fund innovative open-source projects and contribute to existing free software development. This can, for example, include direct funding and organized hackathons.

We also plan to encourage member states’ governments to set up their own Open Source Program Offices (OSPOs). This will significantly enhance the ability to create and collaborate on free software that can be (re)used across the Union.

Finally, free and open-source software development must never be held to the same obligations as proprietary software development, and its developers cannot be held liable for damage linked to the free use of their work.

Government-provided Software

Government-provided software, such as mobile ID cards, must be functional on free and open-source operating systems, including those not installed by default or officially supported by device vendors, whenever technically feasible. No artificial restrictions should be placed on this functionality. Furthermore, software versions should be made available for all major mobile platforms.

Software developed using public funds must be open source – “public money, public code.” However, if there is a valid reason for not disclosing the source code at a given time – such as a potential threat to national security – the code must be made public as soon as the reason no longer applies. We also suggest that the source code for such software be hosted by the corresponding country’s OSPO using Git or similar software repositories.

To ensure the broadest possible use and accessibility, we also recommend that governments license their software with a copyleft license. The software should also be compatible with all major operating systems on the platform it was designed for. Additionally, web-based programs should be designed to be portable and compatible with all major free and open-source browsers, preferably respecting web standards as defined by the W3C.


Open Data

Data drives every decision in our society, and there is now a colossal asymmetry between governments, large companies, and individuals.

We strive for a Freedom of Information Act at the European level that stands for open and free access to all public data, fully anonymised in order to respect individuals’ privacy, shared using an open and standard format, free of any charge, and easily accessible to everyone.