Use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the U.S. Department of Defense

Use Of Free And Open Source Software (FOSS) In The U.S. Department Of Defense

Use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the U.S. Department of Defense

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Description:
Use of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) in the U.S. Department of Defense is a 2003 report by The MITRE Corporation that documented widespread use of and reliance on free software (termed "FOSS") within the United States Department of Defense (DoD). The report helped end a debate about whether FOSS should be banned from U.S. DoD systems, and helped redirect the discussion towards the current official U.S. DoD policy of treating FOSS and proprietary software as equals.

History

Version 1.0

The FOSS report began in early 2002 as a request relayed to Terry Bollinger of The MITRE Corporation to collect data on how FOSS was being used in U.S. DoD systems. The driver for the request was an ongoing debate within the U.S. DoD about whether to ban the use of FOSS in its systems, and in particular whether to ban GNU General Public License (GPL) software. The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) was also interested, and agreed to sponsor the report. The first draft was completed two weeks later, and version 1.0 was released a few weeks after that. It quickly gained notoriety for its documentation of widespread use of FOSS in the U.S. Department of Defense, and consequently was mentioned in an article about free software in the Washington Post.

The attention resulted in a new round of reviews and edits. Microsoft Corporation requested that Ira Rubinstein, their legal counsel and liaison for DoD software...
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