Open source and the military

Open source and the military

Summary: Are you ready for an open source military?

TOPICS: Autonomy

One benefit many countries get from open source is a political benefit, autonomy.

Now that argument is becoming explicit, a matter of national security.  Boingboing reports that the UK is talking of cancelling an order for jet fighters unless they are also given the source code for software used in the jets.

Fast, mobile jets are increasingly based on software. In order to gain performance, designers sacrifice stability, and the controls needed to maintain stability in that environment must become automatic. Thus, software.

The trouble for our military-industrial complex, however, is that having control of the code now means controlling the cockpit. And even the best of friends may part.  Note that here it is the UK that is making the objection and the threat. And maybe giving them this autonomy means little.

But what if, next time, it's France? (Fortunately, this picture is of a model plane.) Are you ready for an open source military?

Topic: Autonomy

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  • That isn't Open Source!

    A government body getting the source code to software on a military jet isn't open source.
    • It isn't?

      The GPL doesn't require you to put the source code on the net for anyone to download, only that you give it to your customers.

      The customers -- in this case foreign military -- may be getting the source code. Just because they won't give it to you (a non-customer) doesn't mean that it isn't open source.
  • yes after 2years for this artical

    yes not for your countries but even for us third world countries. now we have the power to ask for source code, because we know the benefits of the open source , not in military but even in education ,healthy , media , and also in prime schools .
  • RE: Open source and the military

    cool plane I found one similar on