OT: Financial opportunity for GPG? Encryption in the Netherlands

I wanted to let you know there is a HUGE financial opportunity on the Dutch encryption market.

I like your project, and hope this could help you get big and make my country save…
I know this is the wrong place, but I don’t know where it should go, and I already had an account here. So hopefully you will forward it to your sponsors/business partners if you are interested.
Disclaimer: I have no personal benefit other then being a citizen and healthcare customer.

I noticed the following in the News, and thought it could be an opportunity for GPG

The dutch Government has a single-login portal for it’s services, but suddenly decided to charge money to related partners like insurance companies and retirement funds. It would cost them €50 Million a year (€2 Million each), and needs to be ready for use in 2018.

There would be several benefits for the insurance companies

  • on top of the traditional FOSS/multiple suppliers:
  • be on time; your V 3 may be just in time to ship
  • can offer a portal version, a desktop version (repacked Firefox + WinGPG plugin), outlook plug-in and other ‘app versions’
  • can be used by their clients, the health professionals, who currently are scrambling for ‘online service’ platforms.
  • with the GPG support currently being added to LibreOffice, it would allow them to send larger encrypted documents in the future too.
  • could easily by rolled out Europe-wide

And I think it could be beneficial for GPG too:

  • extra income /developers to fund ease-of-use
  • a large market (17 million obligated users) and a marketing example
  • international insurance companies that can roll it out in other countries later
  • might be big enough to give all citizens an S/Mime adress for personal use.


Dear M B,

first: It is okay to post on this forum.
You could also email me or Emanuel from Intevation directly
(e.g. see contact section at https://wiki.gnupg.org/EasyGpg2016)

As towards the business opportunity in the Netherlands: I agree with you that there are quite a number of opportunities how to use OpenPGP end-to-end encryption with GnuPG or Gpg4win. Thanks for pointing out this particular one in the health-care section of the Netherlands.

My answer has two parts:
a) It is not easy for us (Intevation and g10code) as small companies in general to bid on a large contract like the one you have outlined. It would need larger company partners from the Netherlands and a significant financial investment to just offer to build and run a solution that will match the requirements that you have outlined. And as you can never be sure that you’ll win such a contract in the end, the investment is risky. Usually some larger IT-company will win such a contract, a company that have been previously involved somehow in designing the solution ideas and requirements. In other words: It may be already too late to design a solution that uses Free Software.

b) As for developing the business, we plan to offer a standardized service-support tickets for Gpg4win users in the future (I hope within the next 6 months, but this depends).

Best Regards,

A Thank you for taking the time to respond. I was hoping that because there will be multiple customers of the system, some would be willing to gamble on smaller companies with part of their investment, but I realize that may be a long shot.

And I hoped you may have had some basic standard solution that could be rolled out quickly under contract, and build out from there. But I can imagine that it would probably require more work that I thought, and probably requires a lot of expensive testing.
So I can understand why you would not want to take the risk.

You are right that these contracts tend to go to big ‘trusted’ companies. But those tend to have big prizes to, and usually favor ’ proprietary’ solutions.
They also tend to have american parents, which may not be desirable from a privacy POV. Something I see happening in the healthcare sector (the so-called ‘E-health’). But nobody seems to care, so apparently it is not a problem after all…

B good luck with your new endeavor. Being a free-tard, I may not use it myself, but it is good to have the option. And even better for business adoption.

Hi M B,

overall I believe that Free Software solutions should be considered more often.
For the public section I think that it is a political task to spread knowledge about how Free Software components can be used. Here is a link to an FSFE campaign
in this area: https://publiccode.eu/ . There are people that care.

If you need arguments, here is a researcher who has collected quite some:

However it is not a primary task of the Gpg4win team to do the political work, we focus on proving a good Free Software product (and financing this by voluntary payments, support options and sometime contracts). Thanks for your interest!

Best Regards,

Oh I don’t need convincing, my affiliated political party is the Pirate Party, FOSS is in our charter. But we don’t get votes, so we can’t make changes.

The mentioned case would be a private contract between two parties, there is no political influence. (In fact, would be outright competing with the government proprietary system)
Besides, I’ve considered political work for FOSS quite useless from what I have seen of it. Not only is it a lot of work and even if you convince some politicians, lobbywork often sends the contracts to others if you look away for a minute. And in the end, not a lot of citicens seem to care at all.
But a lot of FOSS propaganda claims that it makes /business/ sense to use it. So having FOSS companies win contracts on merits should work.

As an end-user who can not code, I thought that bringing potential lucrative contracts to the attention of the sponsors of FOSS software that I (want to) use, is a way to ‘give back’ for the use of the software. And if it creates open standards and better end-user software to, that would be win-win-win.

But as you explained it is apparently not that easy for (small?) FOSS companies to bid on these contracts, so then this strategy won’t work either.

Hi M B,

you wrote:

I thought that bringing potential lucrative contracts to the attention of the sponsors of FOSS software that I (want to) use, is a way to ‘give back’ for the use of the software.

This is a good approach. It may take a number of tries, but of course it is very appreciated
and may work under the right circumstances. So each attempt is useful.

Best Regards,