Apart from countries in the developing world, there are very few nations in which government ministries behave as they do in Taiwan as far as the "colonization" of information by multinational corporations is concerned. That is to say the way in which they completely abandon their powers of reasoning and become appendages of the multinationals and accomplices to their monopolization of markets.
\nTaiwan's IT hardware industry has been highly successful, yet we still have to rely on operating systems and office management software provided by foreign software companies.
\nThe media have reported that, before the Ministry of Justice began its large-scale crackdown on pirated software, it wasted public funds by purchasing so-called "legal" software from these foreign software companies, apparently considering that it was perfectly in order for it to do so. I worry that once organizations are forced by anti-piracy activities to install legal software, Taiwan will not only lose tens of billions of dollars as feared by some legislators, but, more seriously, it will also have to give up its "sovereignty of information" and maybe even its national security.
\nTaiwan's IT strategy has all along been tantamount to "Microsoftization." So-called IT education is constantly providing training and marketing at no cost to Microsoft, and the nervous atmosphere created by anti-piracy activities provides an excellent opportunity for the all-out "Microsoftization" of Taiwan. This is a structural problem. Government ministries, IT educators, the media and private organizations, have all, through no fault of their own, fallen into a maelstrom of complex and egregious consequences of the globalization of information and the detailed manipulation of information rights.
\nBasically, a computer operating system is not only the gateway to information. It is the fundamental platform of information. If we cannot grasp the technologies to utilize that platform and instead entrust our "sovereignty of information" and our national security to a closed company that does not publish the source codes of its software and monopolizes markets, then we simply allow that company to colonize our IT efforts. This is the greatest danger to the development of the information society in Taiwan.
\nChina, whose information industry is less developed than Taiwan's, realized just how frightening this colonization really is a few years back, and has since then been developing its own operating system with the backing of the Chinese government. What's more, the "Chinese 2000" operating system developed by Zhu Bangfu (
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