The U.S. Department of Defense ♥ Open Source |

The U.S. Department of Defense ♥ Open Source

I had the opportunity to listen to David Wennergren, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), at GOSCON last week in Washington, DC. Wennergren was the signer of the DoD’s Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software, which garnered a lot of attention from open source advocates.

Wennergren has what he calls a “powerful vision.” Any DoD employee should be able to go to any device within the DoD, put in his/her common access card, and find the content that s/he needs. Although the DoD isn’t there yet, Wennergren just may be the man to lead them there.

One of Wennergren’s key concepts was “secure information sharing.” In his mind, information sharing and information security are not opposites, but rather are two “polarities” [his word] of the same thing. The challenge of CIOs is in choosing secure solutions that allow us to share MORE, not less. And, as the memo points out, the DoD, arguably the agency most concerned with security in the United States, if not the world, is very comfortable with using open source solutions.

For further analysis of the DoD memo from my colleague, Gunnar Hellekson, click here.




Now there is a statement of confidence and trust, the DoD is trusting open source and it's potential. Would have loved to see this posting 'above the proverbial fold' (i.e., without having to scroll down my screen on the Gov homepage). This is one topic that would have wide appeal and really speaks to the value of embracing open source in new and exciting ways, with the right leadership.

A few notes: top of screen on this page (under article title) is not appearing correctly. The authorship area has text overlapping with itself and the graphic (I'm assuming) appears only as a red X in a box. Perhaps b/c this is still under development it is still in the works, but wanted to let you know what I'm seeing. I'm viewing on IE7.

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