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EU Will Not Divulge Microsoft Contracts

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the move-along-no-public-interest-here dept.

Microsoft 219

Elektroschock writes "Marco Cappato, a Liberal member of the European Parliament, wanted to inspect the EU's contracts with Microsoft. His request was denied. '...the [divulging] of [this] information could jeopardize the protection of commercial interest of Microsoft.' Apparently the European Council sees no clear public interest in the release of such contractual material, and so 'the Secretariat general concludes that the protection of Microsoft's commercial interests, being one of the commercial partners of the European institutions, prevails on the [divulging] for the public interest.'"

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219 comments

Well that's just a load of BS, lemme tell you... (4, Interesting)

tobiah (308208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25724999)

[Blocked] It has been determined that the contents of this comment do not serve the public interest.
-The Secretariate General-

Re:Well that's just a load of BS, lemme tell you.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725121)

Oh I see what you did there.

US vs. EU interests? (4, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726037)

What really fascinates me is that the people high up in the EU governance food chain think that the business interests of a US company is more important to the citizens of the European Union than information about what their money is being spent on.

Re:US vs. EU interests? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726241)

except that I think we can guess what some of Microsoft's money is being spent on here.....

Re:US vs. EU interests (who cares?) (1)

Zarluk (976365) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726367)

(...) here, there and also a (big) bit everywhere...

"Follow the money!". That's the (polititians) rule, both in EU and US (as in the rest ot the world, I'm afraid).

Re:US vs. EU interests? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726423)

Microsoft pays taxes in every country where it has headquarters... that's at least France, the UK and Germany, and probably most of the other European countries.

What Rights? (0, Troll)

andersh (229403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725019)

I don't really see the problem here, granted some of us might have wanted to know more about the contracts. However it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not. And for my American friends remember that we have a different view on things like this, usually European governments are MORE open than the US.

I wonder how this "discussion" will develop..

Re:What Rights? (5, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725069)

Anything that involves public money and is not a matter of national (or continental, in this case) security should be open to scrutiny.

Re:What Rights? (2, Funny)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725357)

Then they could make the excuse that the contracts are a matter of economic security and if your economy turns to crap then so will your national security.

Re:What Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725497)

Parent is right. It's my money, I need the information to make sound decisions.

Since they're not disclosing it, there must be something fishy there.

Re:What Rights? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725585)

The subtitle of this story is: "How much Microsoft was paid to put a backdoor into MS Windows for the EU to use."

Re:What Rights? (3, Informative)

jopsen (885607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725941)

EU what?
I'm sorry but exactly what kind of enforcement agencies those the EU have?

AFAIK the only intelligence agency is Europol, and all it's investigation are performed by member nations it has no executive rights anywhere as far as I know...

My guess is that EU got a really dirt cheap deal for some software... And promised not to tell others... Like everybody else...

Re:What Rights? (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726373)

*THAT* is likely to be the correct answer. Microsoft plays very fast and very lose with their pricing when threats to their monopoly are encountered. My guess is that their prices dipped to near-zero while they were being prosecuted in European courts in order to help influence opinion about Microsoft... and/or possibly fluctuations may be observed around the time that OOXML was up for ISO vote as well.

Re:What Rights? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725903)

"It's my money, I need the information to make sound decisions."

Got news for you, loserboy nerd: YOU do not make decisions, THEY make them and they don't fucking care what you think.

Your money? They'll take it from you through taxes and there's nothing you can do about it.

Get over yourself: you're an expendable cog in the works, a nobody among millions. Thousands of EU citizens are crunched, crashed, blown to pieces and burned in car accidents each frickin' year, you could be one of them for all they care.

Re:What Rights? (2, Insightful)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725733)

Not exactly, as it's horribly unfair to Microsoft. Think about it, if the contract was released, then all of Microsoft's competitors know just how much they need to undercut Microsoft's price to make the sale on a huge (HUGE) contract. You're putting Microsoft at a competitive disadvantage. This is why most (if not all) government contracts are sealed in this manner.

Signed
Someone who works for a government contractor

Re:What Rights? (2, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725875)

Agreed, given the EU's past hostility to Microsoft in the form of Antitrust enforcement [zdnet.com] . At least they have the balls to step up and fine Microsoft.

The secrecy may or may not be a bad thing but I doubt that it's there because of some ultra-shady backroom deal, but after the OOXML fiasco, who knows...

Re:What Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726569)

Agreed, given the EU's past hostility to Microsoft in the form of Antitrust enforcement [zdnet.com]. At least they have the balls to step up and fine Microsoft.

That is a strange choice of words. Is enforcing the law now deemed to be an act of hostility when a large corporation is the object of the enforcement action?

Re:What Rights? (4, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725993)

Not exactly, as it's horribly unfair to Microsoft. Think about it, if the contract was released, then all of Microsoft's competitors know just how much they need to undercut Microsoft's price to make the sale on a huge (HUGE) contract. You're putting Microsoft at a competitive disadvantage. This is why most (if not all) government contracts are sealed in this manner.

Signed
Someone who works for a government contractor

Yes, good god. Just imagine if players in the market were permitted to know current market rates for specific services. It'd be chaos. It'd be terrible. It'd allow vendors to compete on price for government contracts, and result in government potentially picking a less expensive option for using taxpayer money. Heaven forbid. At least we all know that picking Microsoft is the best possible example for slashdotters of a company that should never be put at a competitive disadvantage!

Re:What Rights? (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726173)

Yup, instead of coming up with a bid that represents their "best" price, they would only need to come up with a bid that is slightly better than the competition. Brilliant! Oh, wait, that's the opposite of what you're after...

Re:What Rights? (4, Informative)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726297)

There's a big difference between bids being sealed during the bidding process, and them being opened after the deadline has passed. The first practice prevents the situation you're describing, while the second practice provides for public knowledge of how tax money is spent.

Re:What Rights? (1)

ardle (523599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726183)

Not exactly, as it's horribly unfair to Microsoft.

I don't think GP was suggesting that Microsoft should be treated differently to any other (potential) government contractor. If someone wins a contract and produces crap, they are liable (depending on terms of contract, I suppose), get a bad reputation and are not hired again. "The market sorting it out", wouldn't you say?
Also, forcing government to make contracts more open should also force them to understand their own systems better: if it is known to all that they are stuck in an expensive contract simply because of vendor lock-in, that won't help popularity.

if the contract was released, then all of Microsoft's competitors know just how much they need to undercut Microsoft's price to make the sale on a huge (HUGE) contract.

Once. If this is a problem, then I suggest that the cause is the:

  • huge
  • contract

;-)

You're putting Microsoft at a competitive disadvantage. This is why most (if not all) government contracts are sealed in this manner.

I know what you meant, but it's possible to infer from what you said that the procedure is set-up to protect Microsoft and not, in fact, any holder of a government contract.

Signed

Someone who used to work for a government contractor

Re:What Rights? (2, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726385)

I don't think GP was suggesting that Microsoft should be treated differently to any other (potential) government contractor. If someone wins a contract and produces crap, they are liable (depending on terms of contract, I suppose)

Yep. Although it's so expensive to hold them to that liability that it's hardly ever done.

get a bad reputation and are not hired again

Nope. When I was assessing bids under EU contract rules I had to do it according to a strict points scheme, and was specifically not allowed to take past performance of the company into account. I was only permitted to assess the bid based on the actual contents of the bid. That was a few years ago now, but I don't think it's changed.

Re:What Rights? (2, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726613)

last I checked Microsoft is a near monopoly with upwards of 85% of the desktop market. (note they tried to keep Google from getting that amount in search with Yahoo) How is discussing contract terms that represent 85% of the market not competitive. Unless Microsoft is using large contracts sold cheaply to sway other people that can't choose, network effects.

In houses or cars bidding is sealed during sales, but you legally have to post the sale value when you register the property. Then you can see what a similar property sold for at one time from just viewing the property.

What people REALLY want is to see the terms of the deal. The overall cost can be figured out, but what did Microsoft sell? How many copies? what support? Upgrades? what is the license? When the state buys a bridge or automobile those are spelled out explicitly, and publicly bid on with no side deals allowed. That allows anybody to bid on even ground. In software's case we can't even know what the terms are. I'd be like granting a road contract but not disclosing terms of warranty or number of miles and materials to be used... and would never be allowed. But software gets away with having secret terms.

Companies want a fair shot. Current software contracts are like specifying that I want Caterpillar brand equipment to build my road... not how much road or warranty or when it will be done. People want to see honest sealed-bid deals that specify business functions to cover (email, accounting, security) and how many users/machines to be licensed. Then stick to the winner of the bid!!! It's not fair that Microsoft gets to see another company win a contract like in Germany, then come in and make "donations" to cover part of the cost so they can remove items from the contract.

Re:What Rights? (3, Insightful)

Curate (783077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725739)

Anything that involves public money and is not a matter of national (or continental, in this case) security should be open to scrutiny.

Really? So the public should be able to view your tax returns?

Re:What Rights? (4, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726187)

That's not the same thing. What he meant by "anything" was "any expenditures". The government should only have income from the taxation of it's citizens. We all "know" it's coming from us, so tax returns do not have to be disclosed to everyone.

ALL expenditures not DIRECTLY related to national security MUST be open to scrutiny. To do otherwise invites corruption into the system.

Re:What Rights? (4, Interesting)

blowdart (31458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725129)

Nor is this a Microsoft issue; even if that's the only way to get it onto slashdot. Generally no contractual information like this is ever revealed; the UK government (for example) always refuses requests like this, even when people try to find out how much failed systems, or failed buildings cost.

Re:What Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725805)

just because its the norm doesn't make it right

That might explain (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726093)

Why systems keep failing, buildings keep costing hundreds of millions more than estimated...

It's like 700 million's worth of protection for corruption, incompetence, nepotism etc etc etc.

 

Re:What Rights? (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725187)

The US government is actually quite open, more open then you realize. Only when it comes to military/security information US is quite about it. Just tune to CSPAN 1,2,3,4,5... and you can watch most everything that is happening with the legislative area of our federal government, and every law passed or failed. Know what the debate was etc... It is that most of us are to lazy to actually look at the information and say it is a closed government. No they won't tell the general public about their brand new airplanes that can fire a laser at a top secret satellite to have it bounce back and kill a target half way around the world. But for the laws that get passed there is actually good transparency and I bet if you needed to you can find out how much they are paying Microsoft for their licenses.

Re:What Rights? (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726017)

I live in the US, so I think you are referring to a whole different country. I won't even attempt to describe what I see/hear every day to which you seem oblivious, maybe I will just post a link to yesterday's news [bloomberg.com]

their brand new airplanes that can fire a laser at a top secret satellite to have it bounce back and kill a target half way around the world.

Not only you don't have a clue at what is going on with the US government, you also watch too much (bad) sci-fi.

Re:What Rights? (3, Informative)

stocke2 (600251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725193)

The problem is this is public money being spent, and they should be willing to divulge this information to clear up any ideas people might get concerning government collusion with a large corporation. They are free to use whomever the please, but the practices they use in determining who to contract with should be a matter of publicly available policy.

They need to protect businesses equally, and if it appears they may be protecting a certain business over others, it does make it look as if there might be a conflict of intrests with the public good.

I am not saying that is the case, just that they should make it clear that it is not the case.

Re:What Rights? (1)

cyber-dragon.net (899244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725513)

Very good argument, I wish politicians thought like that... unfortunately if they admit to what they paid someone could find the trail of kickbacks.

Don't think Microsoft buys politicians? I was in the room during a campaign when they tried.

Re:What Rights? (5, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725197)

However it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not. And for my American friends remember that we have a different view on things like this, usually European governments are MORE open than the US.

The idea that governments have rights is absurd. People have rights. The people have delegated certain tasks to government for their own convenience, and have accepted limits on some minimal subset of their rights so that society can best protect the rest. Note that "society" is not the same as "the government"; the government is just a mechanism used by society to accomplish certain specific things.

Re:What Rights? (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725411)

Thank you, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for your authoritative declaration of the way things MUST be!

Re:What Rights? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725747)

If you prefer not having rights, then move to fucking china and stay out of our way already.

Re:What Rights? (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725535)

I'm with MarkvW. Hey, Jean-Jacques, I think you forgot to forward me a copy of that contract so I can read it over and sign it.

Re:What Rights? (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725921)

It was in the EULA at the hospital when you were born. Don't come crying to *me* because you didn't read it. Well, you were crying, but for other reasons.

Darn n00borns.

Re:What Rights? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725835)

Couldn't have said it better myself. The mere fact that so many people have a reversed understanding of who works for who when it comes to government is scary.

Re:What Rights? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726449)

Sure. That's what we thought we were getting. But we made some assumptions based on the zeitgeist. The Constitution is way too short to ensure that it comes out right. And for the past eight years, we've seen every loophole abused or filled with mud.

Re:What Rights? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726451)

Blame public education. Somehow in the US (at least in the area where I am at) they have managed to convince many kids that the Constitution grants people rights. Even the most recent election featured many politicians openly stating that the Constitution granted rights to people when it did nothing of the sort. They would then extend this line of thought and talk about how they were going to "give more rights to the people".

It is this ignorance of the US Constitution which politicians rely on. The Constitution granted rights to the government and held all rights not granted specifically to those of the people. Trouble is people don't know it and assume otherwise. How else do we explain the mess we have now?

No wonder both parties want to ignore it, it would handcuff them both if they truly adhered to it. Yet how is anyone going to understand what it truly means if the education system, government, and the press, both say otherwise?

Re:What Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726615)

The people have delegated certain tasks to government for their own convenience

You could say that the people delegated the task of deciding if access to some information is more important than the business' need to keep it secret. Perhaps there are details in the contract that expose some sensitive trade secrets, and releasing it wouldn't only feed general curiousity.

Re:What Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725215)

I don't really see the problem here, granted some of us might have wanted to know more about the contracts. However it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not.

It's my right as a citizen to have access to this information. The parliament could go home otherwise.

And for my American friends remember that we have a different view on things like this, usually European governments are MORE open than the US.

Yes we do have different views on many things as Americans, and also among ourselves. Perhaps we should celebrate that and see how we can improve ourselves.

I wonder how this "discussion" will develop..

If nobody else turns it into an America vs Europe pissing contest it might develop quite nicely.

Re:What Rights? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725321)

I don't really see the problem here, granted some of us might have wanted to know more about the contracts. However it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not.

They define those rights. "There is no problem because we say so" is not a justification.

And I don't see how the differing views of Americans warrants bearing anything special in mind. I'm from the EU, and outside opinions are just as relevant and welcome as anyone else's. If not more so.

as rnabffy said (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725355)

if they want to keep their spending quiet, they should pay for it out of their own pocket, not mine.

Re:What Rights? (5, Insightful)

orielbean (936271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725387)

Rights of governments? The people give rights to the government in order to serve the people, not the paternalistic other way around. Government exists to serve the people. Where do you think the money to pay MS comes from? It's like your dad taking money from your trust fund, giving it to you, then telling you that it is your allowance that you earned! The money is the public's money. We agree to let the government protect us from harm and so we allow state secrets to exist in order that our common enemies do not use that information to avoid detection. Everything else that does not fall into that narrow category should be exposed to sunlight and competition. This is a simple paternalistic monopoly protection scheme for MS.

Re:What Rights? (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725419)

However it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not.

So, in theory, a government that keeps its people in the dark about everything it does is just exercising its "right" to decide what not to make public?

Re:What Rights? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726459)

It isn't a right, it's a policy. And in a democracy or a democratic republic, it takes time and a few million friends to change the policy. You can't do it just by saying you interpret the founding fathers a different way.

Re:What Rights? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725551)

Unless of course said government is trying to make a case against MS to make them pay out more money while at the same time being run by people too dim to use Linux and don't want to expose their hypocrisy. MS won't divulge the info either to prove the EU to be a bunch of hypocrites because they get a huge chunk of money from them.

While I can appreciate the EU "sticking it to the man" which can help some of us, in the grand scheme of things using MS products while attacking MS makes them look like hypocrites and strengthens MS' case.

Re:What Rights? (1)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725707)

And for my American friends remember that we have a different view on things like this, usually European governments are MORE open than the US.

I wonder how this "discussion" will develop..

Hooray for the increased openness of socialism. It's so effective people actually believe it's the governments "right" to decide what to make public.

Re:What Rights? (3, Informative)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725713)

However it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not.

Why? I mean, if the government is feudalism you might justify that by saying that the nobles were more important than the rabble. In a democracy, the government works for the people not the other way around. That means the government doesn't have the "right" to do anything against the wishes of the people.

And for my American friends remember that we have a different view on things like this, usually European governments are MORE open than the US.

Something you apparently don't value, because you think the government should be allowed to be less open if it decides to. Lack of openness in the US government is a problem that needs to be rectified, it's not a goal you should aim for.

Re:What Rights? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725815)

However it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not.

Have free citizens who let themselves be governed really accepted to give their money to a group of people who don't have to tell the citizenry what they spend it on?

I bet my cousins would do some really great contracting work of an undisclosed nature for me. Send me a check, please.

Re:What Rights? (1)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726035)

Where do you live, China? You obviously do not believe in democracy.

it is the right of governments to decide what they make public and not

Re:What Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726047)

However it is the right of governments...

Orwellian nonsense.

Governments don't have rights, the people do!

Re:What Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726145)

Isn't the big deal here is that the EU was probing Microsoft for anit-trust issues...and maybe the contracts value are close to the lately imposed fines...so why not release the information?

Typical Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725041)

Whenever they do a deal with a government agency, or education authority, they insist on a Non Disclosure. That prevents the relevant Authority disclosing that they paid next to fuck all for Windows, but a shed-load for Orofice.

Re:Typical Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725391)

NDAs are irrelevant, the EU exists solely as a representative body of democratic nationaly elected parliaments.

Re:Typical Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725529)

So in other words Microsoft bought the EU.

With linux and BSD out there MS shouldn't be in a position to dictate terms. Just switch and see how fast MS products become free.

Guess I won't move to Europe (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725045)

anytime soon...

What a disappointment!

I guess the request should be accompanied by a request to investigate some misconduct in order to be of clear public interest.

I think the accusation would be enough incentive to open up the contracts. If they don't, it should be considered evidence of misconduct and an attempt to cover it up.

Well WTF (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725053)

And here I thought the EU was supposed to represent Europeans, instead I find them protecting the commercial interest of Microsoft?

I hope people closer to this information have the same feeling as I do. Something smells fishy, and I'd like to know how much money Microsoft paid to who.

Re:Well WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725647)

Microsoft has probably paid many billions of dollars to European governments. They take to form of taxes. It is in the interest of the EU to protect that revenue, and it is their duty to protect the interests of the Europeans who are employed by Microsoft.

European Parliament (-1, Troll)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725063)

When has the European Parliament and the public interest ever coincided?

Re:European Parliament (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725271)

I'm italian, and I agree :P

Re:European Parliament (5, Informative)

pejyel (1275304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726013)

When has the European Parliament and the public interest ever coincided?

Hum let me think ...
When it voted against the 3-strikes law for downloaders? [iptegrity.com]
When it voted against software patents? [ffii.org]
When it voted for restrictions on the use of radioactive weapons? [beagle17.gnn.tv]
The EU Parliament [europa.eu] can really hardly be criticized, except for the fact that it doesn't have that much power, which in my opinion is a real pity. Go troll elsewhere. [4chan.org]

Pitfalls of socialism. (1, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725071)

To much government control leads to more red tape. With more levels of red tape you have people who realize they won't get fired if they Say No, but can get fired if they say Yes. Saying No is easy and safe. If you are on records of saying no and it fails you are safe. If you say no and it succeeds anyways you are still safe. If you say Yes and it fails your are in trouble. If you say Yes and it succeeds you may get promoted. However around the middle level of Red Tape you have a lot of people who don't care to get promoted they are happy where they are. So after you get a couple levels in you get a Lot of No's.

This also happens in large companies too. However many companies have a policy of cleaning out middle management every once in a while. I am not saying other more capitalistic systems don't have pitfalls and problems, and for this request if it was a private company they would have said no way faster then the EU. However a lawsuit requesting the information may go threw much quicker in a company then with a government agency.

Re:Pitfalls of socialism. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725371)

How the hell you link this to socialism is beyond my comprehension. I don't think you know what the word means.

Re:Pitfalls of socialism. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725631)

The American way: Something Un-american coming from Europe = Socialism. Something Un-american coming from elsewhere = Terrism.

Re:Pitfalls of socialism. (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725505)

Many companies? Maybe many companies should, but actually doing so is almost unheard of. This has nothing to do with socialism and everything to do with embedded power and interests in social structures.

Also, try suing a company to get it to reveal its contracts with another company. There isn't even the expectation of openness there - I'm not sure where you were trying to go with your second paragraph.

corepirate nazi legacy; death, debt, & decepti (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725099)

all in a day's work? we're sorry to those who should be honored today. & just so you know we care, the bushwhacker held a big party for himself with all the trimmings; aircraft carrier, jets & helicopters. we all get to pay the tab for that too. better days ahead.

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

we note that yahoo deletes some of its' (relevant) stories sooner than others. maybe they're short of disk space, or something?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081106/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/meltdown_who_pays;_ylt=A2KIR3MR9hJJ3YkAGhms0NUE
http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/23/what.matters.thirst/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/tent_cities;_ylt=A0wNcyS6yNJIZBoBSxKs0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/28/what.matters.meltdown/index.html#cnnSTCText
http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/10/07/atwood.debt/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
(deleted, still in google cache)http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081107/ts_alt_afp/environmentclimatewarmingatlantic_081107145344
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE
(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?) http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/sec_short_selling/index.htm?cnn=yes
http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=ApTbxRfLnscxaGGuCocWlwq7YWsA/SIG=11qicue6l/**http%3A//biz.yahoo.com/ap/081006/meltdown_kashkari.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/opinion/04sat1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
(the teaching of hate as a way of 'life' synonymous with failed dictatorships) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081004/ap_on_re_us/newspapers_islam_dvd;_ylt=A0wNcwWdfudITHkACAus0NUE
(some yoga & yogurt makes killing/getting killed less stressful) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081007/ap_on_re_us/warrior_mind;_ylt=A0wNcw9iXutIPkMBwzGs0NUE
(the old bait & switch...your share of the resulting 'product' is a fairytail nightmare?)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_bi_ge/where_s_the_money;_ylt=A0wNcwJGwvFIZAQAE6ms0NUE

  it's time to get real now. A LOT of energy/resource has been squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, many of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're still in.

http://www.carnicom.com/ (yikes almighty)
http://weatherwars.info/
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."--chronicles

Actually... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725183)

...the EU may be correct in this case - depending.

For public projects and the like, sure - the taxpayers have a right to know. OTOH, for military use and various secret services (I don't know if the EU has any of either, but I can see respective militaries and such among member nations pooling VLKs and the like through the EU), there's a lot of things the public doesn't necessarily have a compelling need to know about.

One question though - does the EU disclose contract and/or payment info for any other vendor, for any reason? If the answer is "no", then this request is probably par for the course.

All that said, perhaps the reason the EU denied it is because they may honestly not know. Sure, individual departments probably have a general idea, but in aggregate? Good luck with that one...

/P

Re:Actually... (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725831)

I would imagine they would give a response like "please provide more specificity" if they simply felt it was too vague.

FOIA's are that way (you do realize a pretty big trade agreement is the source of all the FOIA-related bills going around country to country nowadays), that was the response I got when I FOIA'd the ACTA agreement before it hit major press coverage...it was only then that I started getting dancing answers about how we can't see that information.

What I'd love to see, is a law stating that you cannot refuse to provide information on anything requested from a FOIA, provided that it is specific enough.

Is the left hand even connected to the right hand? (2, Interesting)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725201)

So let me make sure I understand ... this is basically the EU equivalent of a United States Senator [Marco Cappato, a Liberal member of the European Parliament] asking the House of Representatives [the European Council] for a contract the House negotiated on behalf of the government and getting denied?

Re:Is the left hand even connected to the right ha (3, Informative)

Duckie01 (10586) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725359)

So let me make sure I understand ... this is basically the EU equivalent of a United States Senator [Marco Cappato, a Liberal member of the European Parliament] asking the House of Representatives [the European Council] for a contract the House negotiated on behalf of the government and getting denied?

Well yes at least to my understanding that would, unfortunately, be quite accurate.

I'm a EU citizen... I don't like this *at*all*.

Re:Is the left hand even connected to the right ha (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725455)

So let me make sure I understand ... this is basically the EU equivalent of a United States Senator [Marco Cappato, a Liberal member of the European Parliament] asking the House of Representatives [the European Council] for a contract the House negotiated on behalf of the government and getting denied?

Actually, I think this is the EU equivalent of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives asking the U.S. Administration (the European Council) for information on how it is spending money.

Re:Is the left hand even connected to the right ha (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725503)

The European Parliament would be the equivalent of the House of Representatives. The European Council is a council comprising the heads of state of the member countries.

europa, europa (1)

pejyel (1275304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725735)

just pointing out :

the Council acts moreless like the House of Representatives, however it is not elected (the EU Parliament is) - it is sometimes called the Council of Ministers, as it is only composed by ministers ("secretary of states" if you want) of each 27 countries of the EU.

On a more general note, this is a bit a lot of fuss about not much. The EU Council does sometimes act in strange ways, but this is not enough for me to lose the trust I have in the other two big EU institution (the Commission and the Parliament)

For those curious people among you, here's the Parliament page of Marco CAPPATO [europa.eu]
I particularly appreciate reading the "Parliamentary activities" of my MEPs (check the bottom of the page).

Nothing new on the EUSSR front. (1)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725235)

Not even half a lifetime after getting rid of one sowiet union, we're getting another.

I dont know, every time I read how the EU managed to get away another piece of our rights I wonder, why do these oligarchist fucks cling on to calling their bueraucratic regime a "democracy" at all? Why dont they just proclaim a open dictatorship so I can move to Switzerland finally? How did the swiss manage to be the ONLY nation on earth where the people control their politicians and not vice versa and keep defending their rights from being taken away piece by piece like in all their neighbour states?

Re:Nothing new on the EUSSR front. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726491)

Nobody claims the EU is a democracy, as far as I know.

Not in their interest? (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725337)

It's not in the public interest to know how much public money MSFT is getting and for what? It's a certainty MSFT doesn't want it getting out how much of a discount government agencies are getting, and what other inducements they're tossing in to sweeten the deal. If it gets out gov agencies are paying $50/seat for Windows, every other enterprise customer will want that deal. I'm not sure how keeping that secret is in the public interest...unless they're worried MS will raise the price if it gets out.

If it were up to me...if the taxpayer buys it, the taxpayer owns it. And that would be true for software, or at least for the licenses. Imagine if the federal government could negotiate for government wide enterprise license deals. If the Navy closed a program, they could take the software licenses they don't need and transfer them to the Marines or another gov agency. I always thought it should be that way. What's MS going to do about it? Not sell to the government? Yeah, that would be smart, drive gov adoption of open source.

Re:Not in their interest? (5, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725457)

It's not in the public interest to know how much public money MSFT is getting and for what?

That's not what is being claimed. The information IS in the public interest -- the argument is that Microsoft's commercial interest is MORE IMPORTANT than the public interest. Which I think is even worse-sounding that what you said.

Re:Not in their interest? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726511)

No, it's still in the government's interest not to scare Microsoft away from ever bidding on government business because the government can't keep to an NDA.

Re:Not in their interest? (2, Insightful)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725715)

I think everybody knows there are discounts involved in the licenses. At a govt client site for Share point server, we needed CALs for about 15K laptops and 45K desktops. The total cost without discount would have been approx. $2000000. with the discount it came to about approx $420,000. I think this is common with private enterprises too.

Re:Not in their interest? (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726483)

It's in the public's interest to know that the people who brokered your end of the deal were trustworthy and capable of striking a fair bargain.

It's not in the public's interest to abuse that negotiator's view into a company's proprietary information.

Companies will simply stop selling your government the things it needs to be more efficient, or will insist on huge fees to compensate for loss of intellectual property.

Re:Not in their interest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726513)

Pity you see this as a Microsoft issue when it's like this for most contracts. Yay for blind zealotry!

Stupidest possible excuse (2, Interesting)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725437)

It's not in the public interest. Of course not! How would we know it was, since we can't see it? And since we can't see it, the problem doesn't exist!

Governments shouldn't be allowed to deny access to information of that sort. Oh, we're just signing this in your name and at your expense. What?! You want to see it? Hahaha!

Re:Stupidest possible excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725609)

It's not in the public interest. Of course not! How would we know it was, since we can't see it? And since we can't see it, the problem doesn't exist!

Indeed... Only the public can say if something is in the public interest... so they're trying to hide something... and since it's worth hiding, it probably *is* in the public interest!

Governments shouldn't be allowed to deny access to information of that sort. Oh, we're just signing this in your name and at your expense. What?! You want to see it? Hahaha!

True that.

Its the kick back clause (1)

asamad (658115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725587)

The bit thats the most important is the kick back clause, the pollies don't want you to see how much they are getting for signing on the dotting line.

What happened to government for the people. sounds like government for the companies now

Ireland was right to say no ... (4, Insightful)

The_Other_Kelly (44440) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725613)

This is why Ireland said NO to the Lisbon treaty.

When you see the response of other EU nations,
you can *feel* the arrogance. Not just to the citizens,
but to smaller nations.

The EU is losing touch with basic democratic principles,
especially the concept of Accountability.

They have forgotten that they are servants of the people,
and need to be reminded.

EU is a farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726619)

Yeah you are so right!

The EU is a democratic farce. The parliament is democratically chosen but has bottomline no power. The EU commission is appointed by the EU country leaders. Oversight of EU is only internal.

And the EU "thing" (not sure what to call it otherwise) is pulling more power from the individual countries every year. Very worrisome.

But the old saying is "The people get the leaders they deserve"...

And what did you expect? (2, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725787)

Years ago when the idea of the EU was starting to form into something real, I commented to friends that it had the potential to make something great. I also said that given how governments loved control, it was pretty much guaranteed that they would fuck it up beyond belief. I nailed it (unfortunately).

Hammers (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726169)

This, from an authority whose Constitution is 349 pages long... Maybe they're afraid that if they release the terms to the public half the amazonian rain forest will disappear. Either that, or they followed the US strategy for government contracts; $500 for a hammer, $38 for an LED... God only knows what Microsoft bilked 'em for. Well in either case, it's a good thing our european friends learned how to manage their government from us... If they'd decided on transparency and openness in government, the terrorists would have won. /sarcasm

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