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Microsoft's 'Men in Black' Kill Florida Open Standards Legislation 320

A NewsForge article was handed to us talking about pressure Microsoft recently brought to bear on a piece of Florida legislation. A few short paragraphs in Senate bill 1974 added by Rep. Ed Homan discussed the need for open data formats, but Microsoft's men in black responded by pressuring legislators and staff employees about the bill's language. "A legislative staff employee who would lose his job if he were quoted here by name said, 'By the time those lobbyists were done talking, it sounded like ODF (Open Document Format, the free and open format used by and other free software) was proprietary and the Microsoft format was the open and free one.' Two other legislative employees (who must also remain anonymous) told that the Microsoft lobbyists implied that elected representatives who voted against Microsoft's interests might have a little more trouble raising campaign funds than they would if they helped the IT giant achieve its Florida goals. Note that lobbyists for IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Novell -- the only three companies with a major interest in open source who have registered lobbyists in Florida -- did not weigh in on this matter." and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.

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