Open source software which is developed and maintained according to principles of far-reaching user rights, which include the right to alter, copy and distribute the software. This software policy is of interest today, because development of IT over the last ten years has been dominated by the Internet, and the Internet is fundamentally made up of open-source technologies.
The expansion of the Internet has made this network the hub for the information exchange of both enterprises and authorities and increasingly also in important work processes.
Open source today comprises more products than those linked closely to the Internet. There are open-source software, operating systems, cooperation systems and special systems.
At the same time, many of these systems benefit from the Internet, which makes possible digital cooperation between geographically separated units. The characteristic feature of open-source software is that it uses open standards.
The expression open standards means that the principle for the development o f software is established in public forums, in contrast to proprietary (industry) standards, which are kept secret. It also means that it is often possible, through a more or less democratic mechanism, to influence the standard. With e-government, it is necessary to able to read and exchange data without encountering problems. It is therefore appropriate to focus on how public data is exchanged and stored.