Tuesday, March 27, 2007

US Government risking security due to propietary software?

It may seem odd or prone to be marked as sensationalism, but the findings of the inspector general related to the US Government Integrated Wireless Network project is disturbing for several reasons. It will be others' job to discuss how serious in security and crime prevention is a government that seems to have that flag as the only still flying (all the others, regardless the spin you try to put on it, are not taken seriously anymore), but following with previous postings, this is yet another example of the problems associated to proprietary software and the use (permitted due to lack of regulation) of unfair licensing practices. One of the reasons that the inspector general's report found for the IWN project's failure, which can have negative consequences for the safety of law enforcement officers, was the fact that some of the current systems were obsolete because the manufacturers no longer supported them...Does it seem familiar? While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with proprietary software (open source is not the panacea in every situation), lack of regulation resulting in abusive practices should be a serious concern and here we have another example that even the government of the most powerful country in the planet, immersed in a so-called war on terror may put their law enforcement officials in jeopardy due to lack of support from who created its system (who probably has a new fully-supported version to offer) and we already know the legality of self-supporting proprietary software or hardware that has a technological protection measure...

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