Strengthening autonomy within the sector

Read all about our initiatives to strengthen autonomy within our sector through the SURF Vendor Compliance service, the pilot for the open source platform Mastodon, the OSPO community and the New York Times article about our compliance approach towards Big Tech. 

SURF Vendor Compliance service launched

Twee studenten op een groene bank in open ruimte met laptop

With our Vendor Compliance service, we analyze the privacy and security risks of suppliers on behalf of institutions. In doing so, we jointly fulfill legal obligations. By combining expertise, we achieve cost savings and knowledge sharing. It also provides a stronger negotiating position. SURF Vendor Compliance offers framework and risk analyses, agreements with suppliers, information, support, and supervision.

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SURF starts pilot with Mastodon

Mastdon op mobiele telefoon

Mastodon is seen as a more reliable, open source alternative to X (formerly Twitter). Together with Universities of the Netherlands (UVN), SURF started exploring a Mastodon environment for education and research in the Netherlands in 2023. Because of this pilot, institutions do not have to set up their own ict environment or bring in specific expertise. 

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Kick-off Open Source Program Office community

2 personen luisteren naar presentatie

Because of the call for more open source in education and research, we started a community for Open Source Program Offices within research and educational institutions in 2023. An OSPO is a knowledge and expertise center for open source. Within the community, we collectively strive to reduce dependence on Big Tech, to apply open standards and make publicly funded software available. 

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New York Times article on our compliance approach

Vrouw achter laptop

At SURF, we stand up for public values. In 2023, we achieved that Big Tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Zoom adjusted their terms and conditions to better protect student and employee privacy in education and research. Our compliance approach received international attention in the New York Times article 'How The Netherlands Is Taming Big Tech'.

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Testing ground for open source collaboration platform Nextcloud

Twee collega's in een vergaderkamer

With around 70 participants, we gained hands-on experience in a Nextcloud living lab in 2023. Nextcloud is an open source collaboration environment that includes an office suite, online meeting options and the ability to share and store documents. In the living lab, we tested the extent to which Nextcloud meets our public values, such as autonomy, privacy, data empowerment, interoperability and open standards.

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