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

The U.S. Department of Defense ♥ Open Source


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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.


About the author

Melanie Chernoff - Melanie Chernoff | As Public Policy Manager for Red Hat, Inc., Melanie monitors, evaluates, and works to influence U.S. and international legislation and government regulations affecting open source technologies and open standards. She also serves as chair of the company's Corporate Citizenship committee, coordinating Red Hat's charitable activities.