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A Setback for FOSS in the Public (War) Sector, CONNECT Interoperability Project Shifting to the Private Sector

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  • GAO: DoD Not Fully Implementing Open-Source Mandates

    The Department of Defense has not fully implemented mandates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to increase its use of open-source software and release code, according to a September 10 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

    The report notes that the 2018 NDAA mandated DoD establish a pilot program on open source and a report on the program’s implementation. It also says that OMB’s M-16-21 memorandum requires all agencies to release at least 20 percent of custom-developed code as open-source, with a metric for calculating program performance.

    However, DoD has released less than 10 percent of its custom code, and had not developed a measure to calculate the performance of the pilot program. In comments to GAO, the DoD CIO’s office said there has been difficulty inventorying all of its custom source code across the department, and disagreement on how to assess the success for a performance measure. While the department worked to partially implement OMB’s policy, the department had not yet issued a policy.

  • Pentagon moves slowly on open-source software mandate amid security concerns

    The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit.

  • DOD struggles to implement open source software pilots

    The Department of Defense’s congressionally mandated efforts to create an open source software program aren’t going so well.

    DOD must release at least 20 percent of its custom software as open source through a pilot required by a 2016 Office of Management and Budget directive and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Open source software, OMB says, can encourage collaboration, “reduce costs, streamline development, apply uniform standards, and ensure consistency in creating and delivering information.”

  • DOD drags feet with open-source software program due to security, implementation concerns

    The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit. Since 2016, DOD has been required by law to implement an open-source software pilot program in accordance with policy established by the Office of Management and Budget.

  • DOD pushes back on open source
  • DOD pushes back on open source
  • CONNECT Interoperability Project Shifting to the Private Sector

    The CONNECT project, an open source project that aims to increase interoperability among organizations, is transitioning from federal stewardship to the private sector and will soon be available to everyone.

    Developed ten years ago by a group of federal agencies in the Federal Health Architecture (FHA), CONNECT was a response to ONC’s original approach to a health information network. The agencies decided to build a joint health interoperability solution instead of having each agency develop its own custom solution, and they chose to make the project open source.

European Commission improving the security of widely used open source software

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Security

Amongst the many benefits of free and open source software, include the economic advantages of code reuse and the sharing of programming costs. For public institutions however, there are more fundamental reasons for embracing the open source model: [...]

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Why the founder of Apache is all-in on blockchain

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As Behlendorf tells the story, Apache came out of an environment when "we might have had a more beneficent view of technology companies. We still thought of them as leading the fight for individual empowerment."

At the same time, Behlendorf adds, "there was still a concern that, as the web grew, it would lose its character and its soul as this kind of funky domain, very flat space, supportive of freedoms of speech, freedoms of thought, freedoms of association that were completely novel to us at the time, but now we take for granted—or even we have found weaponized against us."

This led him to want Apache to address concerns that were both pragmatic in nature and more idealistic.

The pragmatic aspect stemmed from the fact that "iteratively improving upon the NCSA web server was just easier and certainly a lot cheaper than buying Netscape's commercial web server or thinking about IIS or any of the other commercial options at the time." Behlendorf also acknowledges, "it's nice to have other people out there who can review my code and [to] work together with."

There was also an "idealistic notion that tapped into that zeitgeist in the '90s," Behlendorf says. "This is a printing press. We can help people publish their own blogs, help people publish their own websites, and get as much content liberated as possible and digitized as possible. That was kind of the web movement. In particular, we felt it would be important to make sure that the printing presses remained in the hands of the people."

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Events and Shows: IBC 2019, User Error and Ubuntu Podcast

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  • Open Source at IBC 2019

    Showcasing two brand new Open Source software demonstrations featuring the Xilinx high-performance Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC, and the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset.

  • Splitting Fun and Profit | User Error 74

    It's another #AskError episode. The finances of social situations and FOSS projects, automated vehicles, and ways to cheer up.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E23 – Wing Commander

    This week we’ve been playing Pillars of Eternity. We discuss boot speed improvements for Ubuntu 19.10, using LXD to map ports, NVIDIA Prime Renderer switching, changes in the Yaru theme and the Librem 5 shipping (perhaps). We also round up some events and some news from the tech world.

    It’s Season 12 Episode 23 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope and Mark Johnson are connected and speaking to your brain.

What politics can teach us about open source

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It would be dangerous to oversimplify the parallels between these political approaches and the relationship between open source and closed source software. Even so, it is worth examining the impact and challenges for democracy in the context of ongoing debates about the role of open source, especially in enterprise IT environments.

Democracy, particularly in the open source sense, is better than the autocratic, closed source model of software deployment. For closed source software vendors, a profit motive can ultimately be more influential than an interest in improving the software. More often than not, when deciding whether to invest in product innovation, commercial vendors will ask themselves at least one of these questions...

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The Pentagon Needs to Make More Software Open Source, Watchdog Says

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The Defense Department is not abiding by a federal mandate to promote the use of open source software and make common code more readily available to other agencies, according to the Government Accountability Office.

In 2016, the Office of Management and Budget published a memorandum that required every federal agency to make at least 20% of their custom-built software open source within three years, meaning the code would be available for other agencies to use. However, as of July, the Pentagon had released less than 10% of its software as open source, according to GAO.

The department has also failed to fully implement a number of other open source software initiatives required by the OMB memo, such as creating an enterprisewide open source software policy and building inventories of custom code, auditors said. Additionally, officials never created performance metrics to measure the success of their open source software efforts.

In both industry and government, the popularity of open source software has exploded in recent years to keep up with the growing demand for fresh tech. By sharing and reusing code, organizations can reduce the cost of developing software and trust the code they’re using has been thoroughly tested by other users.

However, relying on software that someone else developed requires a certain level of trust. If the developer overlooks a vulnerability in the code—or intentionally inserts one—that bug could end up in countless applications, and users wouldn’t know it’s there.

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Openwashing Attempts by Proprietary Vendors

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4 open source cloud security tools

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If your day-to-day as a developer, system administrator, full-stack engineer, or site reliability engineer involves Git pushes, commits, and pulls to and from GitHub and deployments to Amazon Web Services (AWS), security is a persistent concern. Fortunately, open source tools are available to help your team avoid common mistakes that could cost your organization thousands of dollars.

This article describes four open source tools that can help improve your security practices when you're developing on GitHub and AWS. Also, in the spirit of open source, I've joined forces with three security experts—Travis McPeak, senior cloud security engineer at Netflix; Rich Monk, senior principal information security analyst at Red Hat; and Alison Naylor, principal information security analyst at Red Hat—to contribute to this article.

We've separated each tool by scenario, but they are not mutually exclusive.

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Openwashing Latest

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Events: Purism at GUADEC, SUSECON, LibreOffice Conference, Freedom Embedded, Flock

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  • Purism at GUADEC 2019

    GUADEC 2019 took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, and some of Purism’s team members were there. This year’s program was excellent, with plenty of interesting presentations; among them, Tobias Bernard’s talk about adaptive patterns and GNOME apps that work well across different form factors, from phones to desktops. Below is a video of his talk, which we think you should really watch when you have a chance–and here are the slides.

  • SUSECON 2020 Registration is Now Open!

    At SUSECON ’20 you will access a vast amount of technical knowledge and training as you participate in activities that enhance your skills, introduce you to new technologies, and pave the way for you to interact with peers and experts from around the world.

  • The LibreOffice Conference 2019 is underway! First stop, community meetings

    The LibreOffice Conference 2019 begins! Before the main talks start tomorrow, we’re having a community meeting to talk about translating LibreOffice and spreading the word. If you’re near Almeria, Spain, come and join us…

  • Freedom Embedded: Why privacy, security, and user rights depend on software freedom

    The event is free to members of Artisan's Asylum, with a $10 suggested donation from the public at the door.

  • Fedora Community Blog: Flock to Fedora ’19

    Attending a tech conference is not what I’ve experienced before, but I’m sure I’ll keep doing so forever. Flock ‘19 was an amazing one to start with, meeting a flock with same interest always gets you an amazing time. I’ll be sharing down some of the things that I took away from Flock to Fedora ‘19

    The community planned a tonne of talks for everyone to attend, unfortunately, it was impossible to attend all of them. These are the talks that I decided to attend.

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Election fraud: Is there an open source solution?

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Meld is an excellent file and folder comparison tool for Windows and Linux

Ever had two sets of the same files and folders and couldn't decide which one to retain? It may take a long time to actually open each to verify the one that's recent or the one you need; while dates associated with the files may help, they won't all the time as they don't tell you anything about the actual content. This is where file comparison tools can be time-savers. Meld is an open source file comparison tool for Windows and Linux for exactly that purpose. Read more