Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 at 11:27am

US Department of Defense releases memo on open source software

Posted by Jordan Erickson –

A new 2009 memo written by the US Department of Defense (DoD) is now encouraging anyone working within the department (including contractors and anyone working on software systems) to consider using open source software to meet the goals of their projects. This is an about-face for the DoD, which previously did not consider open source software “Commercial” and therefore not adequate to use within their department. In this new memo, they emphasize the benefits of OSS, including constant public peer review of source code.

From the memo:

– “In almost all cases, OSS meets the definition of ‘commercial computer software’ and shall be given appropriate statutory preference…”

– “…required to conduct market research… [and should] include OSS [in the research] when it may meet mission needs”.

– “There are positive aspects of OSS that should be considered … the continuous and broad peer-review enabled by publicly available source code … the unrestricted ability to modify software source code enables the Department to respond more rapidly to changing situations, missions, and future threats”

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