U.S Department of Defense takes a shine to open source

From the ‘Do Ask and Do Tell‘ files:

Open Source software has a role to play in the national interest and national security of the United States. That’s the gist of a new U.S Department of Defense (DoD) Memorandum providing clarifying guidance on the use of open source within the DoD.

While the tone of the memo is positive on open source, the memo is not changing or implementing any new policies

“This attachment provides clarification and additional guidelines on the use and development of OSS (open source software),” the memo states. “It does not change or create new policy, but is intended only to explain the implications of existing laws, policies and regulations.”

From my point of view, the document is just a restatement of things that the DoD has already been doing in some respects. There are places for open source in the DoD and commercial open source software vendors can be engaged just like commercial proprietary vendors.

One of the of the larger open source deployments that I’m aware of is a U.S Navy deployment that uses Red Hat as part of a joint IBM/Raytheon technology called the Zumwalt Total Ship Computing Environment (TSCE).

That’s right Linux is on U.S Naval Warships defending the free world and American interests and has been for a few years. Oh and it’s now good enough for the President of the United States too.

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