At least three open source projects in the Czech Republic are working to allow platform independent access to the government’s electronic message service. The mandatory service, called ‘Datove schranky’ (Data boxes) is currently only accessible on computers running Microsoft’s proprietary operating system.
The open source development projects started following an appeal by a group of 25 Czech companies and individuals. The group called on the government to make Datove schranky accessible to all computers and devices. According to the AbcLinuxu (‘the ABC of Linux’) website, the group has now raised 85000 CZK (about 3200 Euros), which it wants to award to the first open source project that offers platform independent access.
The Czech government aims to use Datove schranky to replace paper based correspondence. The web service allows Czech public administrations to securely exchange messages and data with citizens and companies. The system for instance makes sure that messages are delivered and also guarantees the identity of the sender.
For companies in the Czech Republic, it’s use became mandatory on 1 November.
However, at the moment the government’s web service can only be accessed by computers running a particular version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The service depends on a proprietary plugin, that is only available on the 32 bit version of Windows. Continue reading.