[Foundation] FW: DoD Policy on Open Source

Tony Bamonti tbamonti at jabber.com
Tue Jun 3 12:30:56 CDT 2003

> DOD Memo on Open Source software issued last week.
> john
> Defense Department Issues Open Source Policy
> By Thor Olavsrud <mailto:tolavsrud at jupitermedia.com>
> June 3, 2003
> The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) last week distributed a memo putting
> open source software on a level playing field with proprietary software
> it comes to use within the department, though the memo also warned that
> those using open source software (OSS) must comply with "lawful licensing
> requirements" and be aware of what those licenses entail.
> The DoD is a user of both open source and proprietary software, ranging
> Linux and BSD on the open end, to Unices and Windows on the proprietary
> The memo eases fears that the military might ban use of the GNU General
> Public <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html#GPL>  License (GPL).
> Providing a description of open source licenses and licensing
> including a specific focus on the GPL, the memo, written by John Stenbit,
> chief information officer and assistant secretary for Command, Control,
> Communications and Intelligence Defense Department, noted, "The Linux
> operating system is an example of an operating system used in DoD that is
> licensed under the GPL."
> Stenbit also used the memo to remind recipients that any "DoD Components"
> who acquire, use or develop OSS must make sure that the software complies
> with the same DoD policies governing Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) and
> Government Off the Shelf (GOTS) software.
> "This includes, but is not limited to, the requirements that all
> assurance (IA) or IA-enabled IT hardware, firmware and software components
> or products incorporated into DoD information systems, whether acquired or
> originated within DoD: 1. Comply with the evaluation and
> <http://niap.nist.gov/niap/library/nstissp_11.pdf>  validation
> of National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security
> Policy Number 11, and; 2. be configured in accordance with DoD-approved
> security configuration guidelines available at http://iase.disa.mil/ and
> http://www.nsa.gov/."
> Stenbit also urged anyone considering OSS within DoD to understand the
> ramifications of its use. "DoD Components acquiring, using or developing
> must comply with all lawful licensing requirements," he said. "As
> provisions may be complex, the DoD Components are strongly encouraged to
> consult their legal counsel to ensure that the legal implications of the
> particular license are fully understood."
> Open source licenses often require modifiers and distributors of the code
> make their source code available, publish a copyright notice, place a
> disclaimer of warranty on distributed copies and give recipients of the
> program a copy of the license. The GPL, which governs the Linux open
> operating platform, is a particularly strict open source license which
> requires anyone that distributes code they have modified to make the
> code available when distributing the original binary code or derivatives.
> ------------- End Forwarded Message -------------

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