The Eleventh Annual Southern California Linux Expo
February 22-24, 2013
Hilton Los Angeles International Airport

My DoD Open Source Public Dialogue Experience


In January of 2012, the DoD solicited live public feedback 2 years after it's breakthrough Oct 2009 open source policy memo. It specified three topics with respect to open source use in DoD deliverables:

1. risks that open source may include proprietary material

2. potential for contractors to face warranty or performance issues?

3. Should the DFARS be revised?

The forum attracted ~50 representatives from various organizations, including presentations by defense contractors such as Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, as well as oher other entities such as Black Duck, OpenGeo and Red Hat and a personal "I'm only representing myself" presentation from Your Humble Servant. The forum allowed for other topics besides those on the agenda to be brought up. It also allowed for written input such as that from the defense contractor's lobby, the Aerospace Industry Association. I discuss several of these other inputs and statements in the proposed talk.

I will cover the discussion during the meeting, the Q&A session, and the post meeting "hallway track". The topics include Open Source Licensing and Classified Data, GPL misrreads and hassles, and real world implementation difficulties - including a very interesting case where Government representatives provided opposing direction on Apache license compliance. 

I will also provide some response to the feedback from Dan Risacher, from the DoD Office of the CIO. Mr. Risacher  a vocal proponent of the use of Open Source in Government in general and the DoD in particular, is the chief author of the landmark October 2009 DoD memo which declares that Open Source is to be treated like Commercial Off The Shelf Software, and as such there is a statuatory preference for it's use in DoD deliverables.

Many SCALE talks are geared toward technical talks. This talk is decidedly not a technical talk aimed at developers. But it is of interest to open source developers and consumers as well as anyone who is a US taxpayer and wants to know the government's real world street level stance on open source use, as well as real world impediments to that use.  The talk addresses real world cases where the rubber meets the road at delivery time, and getting open source licensing wrong can have serious schedule and financial consequences on multimillion dollar contracts.

Los Angeles C
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 11:30 to 12:30