[Fsf-friends] Open source software may offer target to terrorists

Frederick Noronha fred@bytesforall.org
Mon, 24 Jun 2002 08:40:04 +0530 (IST)

'Terrorists', the latest mantra for anybody who doesn't like anybody
else? See the rebuttal to this paper which follows separately. FN


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   Thursday May 30, 12:29 pm Eastern Time
   Press Release
   SOURCE: Alexis de Tocqueville Institution 

   Open  Source  Software  May  Offer Target for Terrorists, According to
   Study  by Alexis de Tocqueville Institution's Committee for the Common

   WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS  WIRE)--May  30, 2002--Terrorists trying to hack
   or  disrupt U.S. computer networks might find it easier if the federal
   government attempts to switch to "open source" as some groups propose.

   "Opening the Open Source Debate", a soon to be released white paper by
   Alexis   de   Tocqueville   Institution  details  the  complex  issues
   surrounding  open source, particularly if federal agencies such as the
   Department  of  Defense  or  the  Federal  Aviation Administration use
   software that inherently requires that its blueprints, source code and
   architecture  is  made  widely  available  to  any person interested -
   without discretion.

   In  a  paper  to  be  released  next  week,  the Alexis de Tocqueville
   Institution  outlines  how  open  source  might  facilitate efforts to
   disrupt  or  sabotage electronic commerce, air traffic control or even
   sensitive surveillance systems.

   Unlike  proprietary  software,  open source software does not make the
   underlying code of a software confidential.

   "Computer  systems  are  the backbone of U.S. national security", says
   Fossedal,  chairman  of  the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution and its
   Committee  for  the  Common  Defense,  which  will  release the study.
   "Before  the  Pentagon  and  other  federal  agencies  make uninformed
   decision  to  alter  the  very  foundation  of computer security, they
   should study the potential consequences carefully."

   Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
   Ken Brown, 202/548-0006

      Purchase the AdTI white paper, [4]Opening the Open Source Debate

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