from the three-cheers-for-optimism dept.
The Helsinki Times reports that Finland's Minister of Finance suggested during a recent foreign policy speech that Finland and the EU could pursue self-sufficiency in computing, in particular to avoid over dependence on just a handful of companies. She pointed out that this overreliance on said companies has become so severe that company policy has already started to override existing relevant legislation. The topic had earlier been brought up by President Sauli Niinistö. So far, though, not even Russia has made progress in that direction despite over a decade passing since announcing plans.
"Cyber self-sufficiency, in practical terms, could mean having a European operating system and web browser. The EU could also function as a provider of certificates," she envisioned in a foreign and security policy speech in Helsinki on Wednesday, 26 February.
The potential to integrate mass surveillance into the common Internet infrastructure has analysts worried. A booming blackmarket for foreign smartphones seems likely.
A law requiring that foreign-made consumer-electronic devices must be pre-installed with Russian-made software was passed by Russia's lower house of parliament on Thursday. It covers smartphones, computers and smart televisions, and will go into effect in July, 2020.
The aim of the new legislation is to promote Russian technology, according to its proponents. But some fear that making Russian-made apps mandatory will provide a backdoor for surveillance. Critics also claim that this promotes technologically inferior software, and might cause international manufacturers to pull out of the Russian market.
[...] On Reddit, users expressed concerns about the quality of the Russian alternatives, in comparison to international brands such as Windows and Google.
"I'm sure you meant Gugal, comrade. You no use Gugal, you go to Gulag," quipped one Redditor.