In the biggest government boost to open source yet, the U.S. government has endorsed OpenID.
OpenID is a confederated identity system meant to let you enter many sites without worry about passwords. The code libraries needed to implement the system is available under a number of technologies, and a number of different licenses.
The most common license being used now is Apachev2, but there are also implementations under the MIT, BSD, and even the MS-PL licenses. The OpenID site lists the license for SqueakSource as unknown.
The program announced by U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra is a pilot program, which will let citizens with OpenID authentication to use government Web sites.
Chris Messina (pictured from his Web site) wrote the blog post announcing the government move, which includes examples of where it can be useful, as when you want to book a camp ground or save a search at the NIH concerning a loved one's cancer diagnosis.
"Do you really want to create yet another account (that you’ll probably never use again) just to reserve a campsite? Probably not," he writes.
Of course, all this means opponents of the current Administration are bound to see OpenID as some sort of "mark of the beast." But if Bush did it Democrats would feel that way, so you can't win.
Personally I'd love to have a stable digital identity that did not require me to memorize hundreds of different passwords, and whose implementations were covered by open source licenses. Would you?