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CIA Software Developer Goes Open Source, Instead

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the deconstructing-silos dept.

Open Source 115

jamie found this piece, at Wired's Danger Room from a couple of days back, about an encouraging sign for the growth of open source in the military / intelligence sphere. "For three years, Matthew Burton has been trying to get a simple, useful software tool into the hands of analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency. For three years, haggling over the code’s intellectual property rights has kept the software from going anywhere near Langley. So now, Burton’s releasing it — free to the public, and under an open source license."

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115 comments

Free and open. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175280)

Good thing it's both free to the public and open source. I hate it when things are either free or open, but not both.

Re:Free and open. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175290)

Yea, Just like a easy whore compared to a prostitute.

Re:Free and open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175330)

But the prostitute puts out better because she's paid for it.

Re:Free and open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33176322)

Or the easy whore puts out better because she loves it and does it for pure enjoyment instead of a paycheck.

Re:Free and open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33176586)

You've never seen a highly paid prostitute riding someone like it was the end of the world. A whore only does what she feels is comfortable, a prostitute does what the client feels is comfortable.

Re:Free and open. (1)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178798)

Maybe but the prostitute has the added motivation of a pimp who will bitch slap her into pretending she enjoys it and thus she does a better job.
Of course I will be a gentleman and not delve into the topic of Thia Lady-boys as that would be tasteless.

Re:Free and open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33177014)

Whores are paid, too. What's the difference? Don't we all still speak English?

Re:Free and open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175344)

Does that analogy really work? Isn't the easy whore both free and open whilst the prostitute is only open? Weren't you wanting something that was free, but not open, and something open but not free?

Re:Free and open. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175422)

He said free or open. Lots of commercial software projects are non-free but open. Game engines for example, whose costs typically range in the 6-7 figures to license fully.

This fucking guy (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175340)

Doesn't he understand how the revolving door system work? Why is he fucking with our common well? Damn. Like we don't all have boat payments and stuff.

An interesting counterpoint... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175364)

on why ACH (the subject of this story) might not have been readily adopted in some quarters [lowyinterpreter.org] .

Summary:

Ironically, the widespread adoption of ACH as the official method for hypothesis evaluation is the result of a failure to consider alternative hypotheses (ie. alternative possible answers to the question, 'What would be the best way to make hypothesis evaluation more rigorous and reliable?') ACH has been falsely assumed to be (a) valid and (b) the only game in town. That is just the kind of 'jumping to conclusions' that ACH would supposedly help us avoid.

So when we hear about software for ACH failing to be adopted by the US intelligence community, we shouldn't assume that it is another case of tragic bungling by massive bureaucracy. In this case, it might in fact be a lucky escape.

Re:An interesting counterpoint... (3, Insightful)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175400)

The answer as in an expert system software is not to entirely rely on it, but use it as a tool in your arsenal to help you do the job. Yes a computer can't figure every conceivable option in most circumstances, but neither can a human, the key is they my both come up with solutions unique to one another.

Are Expert Systems Still Around? (3, Interesting)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175488)

You know, I remember reading about expert systems when I was a kid... are they any better or more intelligent than they were 15 years ago? Expert systems seems to be like artificial intelligence; mostly unheard of outside of academia with very few breakthroughs technologically.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175940)

Expert Systems and AI really shouldn't be in the same category. AI is, essentially, smart/clever ways to generically find a minimum/maximum of a function (which can, mathematically, be used for a lot of things). Expert systems were an attempt to mimic some human decision processes by hard-coding "expert knowledge" with a few parameters. In the field of meteorology, expert systems have been largely discarded, while AI systems are still researched and studied.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176088)

Both AI and expert systems are widely used without people realizing what they are, though.

For example, everybody who has an email spam filter uses one. If it's based on rules like name of the sender, source IP etc, then it's an expert system in disguise. If it's based on bayesian tech, it's AI in disguise.

The labels AI and expert system are slightly toxic, due to the overpromising about them that was done in th epast, but the fundamental ideas are sound and useful.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178208)

Good point, I hadn't thought of rule-based spam filters as an expert system, but it would fit the bill. I speak mostly from my own experience and research within meteorology. Expert systems became huge when computational resources were becoming more common, but still scarce. One couldn't run a weather model on their research machine, or code one up themselves, but a basic expert system was relatively easier.

I have not to see much in expert systems in meteorology (at least, nothing new) since I entered the field. However, AI systems (as I defined them elsewhere) are a significant field of study in meteorology.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33177338)

Expert Systems and AI really shouldn't be in the same category.

Expert Systems are a category of AI. Just like Neural Nets, Heuristics and a few others I can't remember off the top of my head that I learned about in my Introduction to AI class in university.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177534)

Expert Systems and AI really shouldn't be in the same category. AI is, essentially, smart/clever ways to generically find a minimum/maximum of a function (which can, mathematically, be used for a lot of things). Expert systems were an attempt to mimic some human decision processes by hard-coding "expert knowledge" with a few parameters. In the field of meteorology, expert systems have been largely discarded, while AI systems are still researched and studied.

      where did you come up with this definition of AI?

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178008)

Russel and Norvig, 2003. Paraphrasing (because I don't have the book with me), AI systems perceives its environment and works to maximize its chances of success. As a matter of technical implementation, this is traditionally framed as an error minimization problem.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178074)

Russel and Norvig, 2003. Paraphrasing (because I don't have the book with me), AI systems perceives its environment and works to maximize its chances of success. As a matter of technical implementation, this is traditionally framed as an error minimization problem.

      Interesting. So given that this is artificial intelligence, real intelligence is an error minimization problem to maximize chances of success?

  rd

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178182)

Interesting. So given that this is artificial intelligence, real intelligence is an error minimization problem to maximize chances of success?

How the heck should I know? We have yet to find any real intelligence.

But seriously, I have always thought that AI was an unfortunate name for the field of study because it caused many people to misperceive what it can and can not do. I personally use AI to create useful data models in weather forecasting. I make no pretense that it has anything to do with "real" intelligence and cognitive systems of any life-form.

Take your trolling elsewhere.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182384)

But seriously, I have always thought that AI was an unfortunate name for the field of study because it caused many people to misperceive what it can and can not do.

      That in essence is the answer. It is actually not AI to you, but a useful algorithm.

      Thanks for the insight.

  rd

     

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182672)

No, it is AI to me. The reason for calling it intelligence is that the algorithms exhibit a "learning"-like behavior. It is artificial intelligence because it is 1) artificial (I made it), 2) intelligent-like (in the sense that the process exhibits learning).

The unfortunate thing I was referring to is that people seem to misconstrue the "intelligence" in AI to mean that it is supposed to exhibit an intelligence like a life-form, which is not true.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182872)

well, it was true when they named it.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178072)

By: 1) focusing on the approaches that actually work; 2) stripping the window-dressing of these approaches; 3) perhaps overloading the term "generically".

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178110)

By: 1) focusing on the approaches that actually work; 2) stripping the window-dressing of these approaches; 3) perhaps overloading the term "generically".

      This is your definition of AI?

      Approaches that actually work at what?

  rd

       

One example of an expert system.. (2, Informative)

nanospook (521118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176620)

Expert systems have been used in the Mortgage underwriting business for years to help gain an advantage over competitors who use a manual underwriting process. You take a zillion underwriting cases and store them and the end results. Then when a new customer wants underwriting, you find a close match and return a verdict plus any needed requirements..

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177196)

Expert systems seems to be like artificial intelligence; mostly unheard of outside of academia

Expert systems are useful. My first paid job (holiday between school and university) was to work on an expert system for analysing the results of tests on heat for BP.

I did a prototype that performed reasonably well. It was expanded into a reliable system that was used for at least a decade.

Re:Are Expert Systems Still Around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33185686)

RIP Expert System: April 2000- April 2010 :D

Re:An interesting counterpoint... (2, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175894)

The answer as in an expert system software is not to entirely rely on it, but use it as a tool in your arsenal to help you do the job. Yes a computer can't figure every conceivable option in most circumstances, but neither can a human, the key is they my both come up with solutions unique to one another.

ACH is not an expert system but rather an analytic approach to conducting analysis of information; in this case intelligence information. Richard Heuer's "Psychology of Intelligence Analysis" is the classic text on ACH.

Re:An interesting counterpoint... (1)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177460)

I have a different take on it.

Some small defense contracting firm cant get its shit together enough to get the CIA to consider purchasing its software. They probably dont have people who know the procurement process well enough to get a start (or anyone with enough pull to push for its procurement). Then they claim to open source the software to try and get it through the door in a different way, probably in hopes of a support contract for future development.

Then, instead of discussing in greater detail the problems they had selling the software, they bitch about other notable failures in government contracting as if they are stuck in the same boat.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:An interesting counterpoint... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33178704)

Ding Ding Ding! Winnah!!!!! I believe you have hit the nail on the head here. This story smells BAD!

Wired... empf (3, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175452)

There is something about Wired I cannot digest since the whole wikileaks farce.

Re:Wired... empf (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175618)

There is something about Wired I cannot digest since the whole wikileaks farce.

I have no idea what you're talking about wrt Wired and Wikileaks, but I would like to know. Anyone?

Re:Wired... empf (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175762)

He's talking about Wired's connection to Adrian Lamo who claims to have outed the guy apparently responsible for leaking that video of the civilians being gunned down by a helicopter and perhaps even the latest round of documents. Without getting into the details there is something fishy about the relationship between Lamo and the reporter at wired that wrote (broke?) the story.

Re:Wired... empf (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176080)

there is something fishy

When has Wired magazine been anything besides glossy fishwrap? Their website is your standard Conde Nast press release publishing machine. There is so much fishy going on at Wired magazine between the editorial, advertising sales and the PR industry that whenever I read something of theirs I come away feeling like I'm covered in grease. There used to be a couple of good bloggers over there, including the great Bruce Sterling, but even he has started mailing it in, probably because even submitting stories to Wired leaves him feeling like he's covered in grease, too.

The last straw came a long time before the filthy business between Adrian Lamo and the editorial staff's sucking up to power, in true Conde Nast style and selling out wikileaks.

As hard as they try to appear hip and edgy, they're really nothing but part of a huge corporate billboard machine. There are dozens of excellent sites on the web that cover technology and culture much better. There's no need for anyone to visit or read Wired.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177152)

When Wired sells out Adrian Lolcat, please post the same garbage so I can laugh again.

Just look at who you're sticking up for and you'll know who your friends are.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176552)

Without getting into the details there is something fishy about the relationship between Lamo and the reporter at wired that wrote (broke?) the story.

Why not get into details? What's fishy about it?

Re:Wired... empf (1)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176622)

I too am curious.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177260)

Why not get into details? What's fishy about it?

Because I am too damn lazy to retype something most people could dig up on their own with the judicious use of a search engine or two.

Re:Wired... empf (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177932)

Because I am too damn lazy to retype something most people could dig up on their own with the judicious use of a search engine or two.

Link or it didn't happen. Or put another way, provide a citation or shut the hell up. And let's not just have an opinion puff piece from Salon, which jumped the shark a long fucking time ago.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178138)

Fuck off. If a word to the wise isn't enough for you, then you aren't very smart.

Re:Wired... empf (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178264)

Fuck off. If a word to the wise isn't enough for you, then you aren't very smart.

I'm looking for a word from the wise, and so far I've seen no evidence that there will be any.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178866)

I'm looking for a word from the wise, and so far I've seen no evidence that there will be any.

Look dillweed, if you have a problem you have it with the original poster. All I did was explain what he was saying AS REQUESTED.
Not enough for you? Do your own damn homework and learn your idioms while you are it.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33179738)

Look dillweed, if you have a problem you have it with the original poster. All I did was explain what he was saying AS REQUESTED.

Dill is delicious. I prefer to call someone "dillhole" as it implies sex with a pickle.

All you did was make an unsupported statement. You didn't explain shit, you shared an opinion. And that's how it continues to be until you provide a citation. Citations are not just a game played by academics, they separate people who really know what they are talking about from people who just want to sound like they do.

Not enough for you? Do your own damn homework and learn your idioms while you are it.

You are truly full of yourself (but empty of intellect) if you can't recognize deliberate manipulation of idiom even when it is italicized.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

DMadCat (643046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33180418)

I agree with parent.

Oddly, you're too lazy to put up links to prove your assertions but you're not too lazy to type two fairly longwinded paragraphs rewording the original poster and then multiple follow up insults to requests that you prove your theories.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182630)

I agree with parent.

How nice for you.

Oddly, you're too lazy to put up links to prove your assertions but you're not too lazy to type two fairly longwinded paragraphs rewording the original poster and then multiple follow up insults to requests that you prove your theories.

Clue for you x2 - not my theories. Cafuckinpiche? The only theory I hold here is that the original poster was talking about the Lamo. Its easy to insult an idiot, drinnkypoo and you have made your status self-evident with your ridiculous demands, and as for 'longwinded' lol, you must be new to teh internetz.

Re:Wired... empf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33183262)

Dill is delicious. I prefer to call someone "dillhole" as it implies sex with a pickle.

Dillweed [wikimedia.org] - skinny like the plant see illustration, aka pencil-dick.

Re:Wired... empf (1)

rakslice (90330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33179338)

Oh, I get it... the hypocrite is you =)

Re:Wired... empf (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33180062)

And let's not just have an opinion puff piece from Salon, which jumped the shark a long fucking time ago.

I wouldn't call the piece from Salon a puff piece. He did an interview with Lamo. He emailed the Wired journalist and posted the full exchange. He tried to get a hold of Assange. In the end, there doesn't seem to be much there except for anger, but he does raise a few good points:

  • Lamo quite possibly breached his trust as both a self-claimed "journalist" and "minister".
  • Lamo is known as a publicity hound. His proclaimed interest in national security may not have been his motivation for exposing the hacker.
  • There are conflicts accounts on how Manning first got into contact with Lamo.
  • Wired has the full chat logs, and why some parts were not published doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
  • The Wired journalist was uncritical of Lamo in these respects. The edited chat logs could be the result of trying to protect Lamo.

I'd say all this at least qualifies as "fishy", but I think this is just basically a Wired journalist with a cozy relationship with Lamo, and people who are pissed at Lamo are extending that to Wired.

Judicious (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33180984)

I am too damn lazy to retype something most people could dig up on their own with the judicious use of a search engine

You can help us be judicious by providing good keywords with which to start searching.

Re:Judicious (0, Flamebait)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182664)

You can help us be judicious by providing good keywords with which to start searching.

Yeah and I could help you suck my dick by unzipping too.

Re:Wired... empf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33176884)

He's talking about Wired's connection to Adrian Lamo who claims to have outed the guy apparently responsible for leaking that video of the civilians being gunned down by a helicopter and perhaps even the latest round of documents. Without getting into the details there is something fishy about the relationship between Lamo and the reporter at wired that wrote (broke?) the story.

Adrian Lamo has been famous since the late '90s as the Homeless Hacker. Since many news articles have been written about him, it is not unusual that he might have a previous relationship with a news reporter that could provide access for a new story. Since Wired is a tech-oriented publication which attracts techie writers, it is not unusual that a Wired reporter might have a previous relationship with him.

sure, absolutely, trust CIA to license software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175472)

they really love following rules

We need some good wiretapping software. (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175482)

When they are done creating the ultimate spy software will it be free to download?

"Open Source" tells us almost nothing (2, Interesting)

njdj (458173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175524)

Neither the post, nor the article linked, tell us much. "Open Source" just says that some people can read the source code. It doesn't tell us:

  1. Who can read the source (licensees only?)
  2. What you're allowed to do with the source

"Open source" doesn't mean "public domain". Somebody still owns the copyright, and can make permission to copy the source conditional on acceptance of a license. Then the terms of that license are all-important.

Re:"Open Source" tells us almost nothing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175690)

If you had bothered to actually RTFA, you'd have seen it has been released under the Apache license. While not a BSD license, it's about as liberal and "do whatcha want" as most OSS licenses get.

Re:"Open Source" tells us almost nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33176320)

It doesn't say anywhere in the article that it's going to be released under an Apache license. So it's a valid question.

Can anyone answer?

Re:"Open Source" tells us almost nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33176436)

Why is this rated informative? I can't see the word Apache anywhere in that article.

Re:"Open Source" tells us almost nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33178016)

Writing a term in capitals like "Open Source" indicates that you are referring to a specific definition of the term, not just using the two common words "open" and "source" together. In the context of software there is exactly one commonly used definition of open source: that of the Open Source Initiative. [wikipedia.org] Even in lower case, you can safely assume that people who talk about open source mean the OSI definition - exceptions are rare enough and as you point out, without a strict definition "open source" could mean so many things that it would be meaningless. Luckily we do have a useful strict definition in common use.

Re:"Open Source" tells us almost nothing (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178782)

``Open Source" just says that some people can read the source code. It doesn't tell us:

    1. Who can read the source (licensees only?)
    2. What you're allowed to do with the source''

To a degree, it does tell us that. By The Open Source Definition [opensource.org] , we know that, at a minimum, source code can be distributed to anyone (free distribution, source code, and no discrimination against persons or groups), and that using the source code for creating derived works and distributing them under the same terms is allowed (derived works).

You are correct that, without knowing the specific license being granted, there are still some questions to be answered with respect to the points that you mentioned. For example, while, in principle, anyone is allowed to read the source code, source code is only required to be made available to those who receive the software as far as the open source definition is concerned, so source code may or may not be available to people who don't have the software. Also, without knowing the specific license, you cannot know whether or not you can use the source code in, say, a work that includes code under the GNU GPL. Depending on how you want to use the software, these points may be very important.

Do we want that? (1, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175694)

Do we really want growing open source use in the military / intelligence sphere?
Where is the border between helpful and harmful, and where is the moral event horizon for the contributors?

"Software for Analysts" sounds harmless, but could very well be their best shot at re-creating 1984. Is it really encouraging to have Echelon being empored by open source to eavesdrop on even more emails and phone calls?

Or how about drones, avionics, etc? Would you feel empowered by having a killbot using your code?

Re:Do we want that? (1)

xous (1009057) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175802)

Well, you don't really have a choice, if you make your code FOSS. Either anyone including 'people you don't like or agree with' can use the code or it ain't FOSS.

Re:Do we want that? (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177132)

Weren't there some peacetards who had a license that said "you can use this software, but not for X, Y, and Z"? I seem to recall some piece of software released under such a license but I can't remember it now.

Re:Do we want that? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33178056)

I've seen this. Some scientists at my lab use a particular note-taking application, and I had occasion to read through the license while I was poking around the file format to add some features. The license specifically called out prohibiting the use of the application for anything having to do with nuclear technology. Which put us in a bit of a grey area, as there is some radioisotope use for tagging in our section of the lab, and technically violates the letter of the license.

And, posting AC...

Re:Do we want that? (1)

xous (1009057) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178230)

Probably but I don't believe it qualifies as FOSS if you put restrictions on it's usage. (e.g. non-commercial)

Re:Do we want that? (1)

Eevee (535658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175814)

Would you feel empowered by having a killbot using your code?

Wernstrom: Ladies and gentlemen, my Killbot features Lotus Notes and a machine gun. It is the finest available.

Re:Do we want that? (4, Insightful)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176162)

Do we really want growing open source use in the military / intelligence sphere?

The article mentions several good points, biggest of which is that it stops people from reinventing the wheel all the time.

Where is the border between helpful and harmful, and where is the moral event horizon for the contributors?

All of the definitions of the open source and free software currently say "no discrimination of fields of endeavour" or something similar. Software shouldn't be "private use only" or "private or non-profit use only" or "only for use in field X".

What would you say if you found an awesome graphics application, but its license said "only for professional design industry use"? A license like that would annoy art students (who aren't in the industry yet), independent artists (who don't give a damn about the "industry"), or plain old normal people who happen to have a need to patch up some graphics some times (and who think "industry" = "they'll charge a lot of money from us if I want anything done").

From the description, it sounds like this software package would be very useful for researchers, analysts, and maybe even lawyers. Is arbitrarily limiting this software to "only for military intelligence use" really fruitful?

"Software for Analysts" sounds harmless, but could very well be their best shot at re-creating 1984.

There are more than one software packages in existence. They have widely varied forms of operation. Software vendors are capable of producing very different products that have nothing to do with each other.

Let's try this conspiracy theory in private sector: "Microsoft released Windows, which was their opening salvo for an unspeakable horror unleashed upon mankind in form of Bob." Yeah, that conspiracy worked really well and now Windows is suspicious. (Well, Windows is suspicious, but not for this reason.)

Is it really encouraging to have Echelon being empored by open source to eavesdrop on even more emails and phone calls? Or how about drones, avionics, etc? Would you feel empowered by having a killbot using your code?

Here's the thing: You could say the same thing about science. You can use science to explore the universe and improve the quality of life. But at the same time, you can use science to blow the shit out of your enemies. People discovered rockets - and now they can be used to both propel people to the moon, and to propel warheads across the world.

Like science, software solves problems. Sometimes these problems can be applied to problems that either morally sound or morally questionable.

Who says Echelon's code couldn't benefit morally acceptable uses? The details are scarce, but assuming the system exists, it must process tons of data really fast. Telephone call analysis part sounds very interesting - even the best publicly available speech analysis systems are very weak [gvoicefail.com] and there's certainly a legitimate, pressing need for actually working automatic speech transcription. Drones and avionics? Tons to pick apart, but even I could list a few things that come to mind - navigation systems (route finding, location awareness/reaction stuff) would be awesome. Smart weapons do a lot of image processing, too; identifying people and reacting to their movements sounds like a tough image processing challenge - and if the science behind it was more accessible to people, it could be used for all sorts of cool things [youtube.com] .

You may say that this is backwards, but the direction doesn't really matter. If you build any publicly accessible piece of software, it can be copied and reverse-engineered by people who are up to no good, if it helps them to accomplish their goals. The military keeps an eye on the scientists and their new discoveries and wonder how this helps them to blow more people up. They get the best ideas from us and refine them in ugly ways. Perhaps it'd be best to see exactly how those best ideas that were leeched off of good honest scientists are put to action - maybe that'll help us build nicer things for nicer purposes.

Re:Do we want that? (2, Insightful)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176264)

Are you really trying to put a moral equivalence on software? Insanity. Either you create and share the code with the world, or you don't. You don't get to share it with only the people you like. That's called Closed source licensing.

Re:Do we want that? YES (2, Insightful)

nanospook (521118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176654)

If I write military software and use a variety of open source projects in my software, what it does is allow me to build with tools that have been vetted by analyst as being clean. E.g. I need a crypto software for my submarine communications systems, I can re-use open source knowing that the code has been researched and found to be clean of "other influences". If I use a black blox software, you don't know what is inside (at least not as easily). An open source box can be analyzed and signed, joining a list of "approved" tools. I don't write military software, so I'm just opining generically here..

Re:Do we want that? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177278)

First, open source code is - and will be - used to kill people, whether you like it or not. If you don't contribute to such projects for moral reasons, you're not really helping those who use the software for moral purposes and you're not really hurting those who use it for immoral purposes.

Second, this is really a question of the level of indirection. If you contribute a patch to a kernel module which can be used by Linux and that version of Linux is downloaded and used by a third-part vendor which supplies the package to the DoD which, in turn, supplies it to the front-line, you've five levels of indirection. If we assume that each level merely doubled the number of people involved, then you would be 1/(2^5)th responsible for the patch being where it was. That would not make you 1/(2^5)th responsible on how it was used, though. You should really weight for that, putting it something closer to 1/(2^(2^5))th. In practice, given the size of the military, the size of the Linux userbase and the size of the Kernel development team, the dilution is closer to 128 rather than 2. So you're looking at 1/(2^(128^5))th of a share in the responsibility.

True, it is not zero, and I do have a serious issue with those who assume that dilution/indirection == zero responsibility, but at that kind of level it's so damn close to zero that it makes no serious odds. If you were to supply that same patch directly TO the front line, specifically knowing its intended use (or specifically not asking), that would be a different kettle of fish. There would be no dilution and no indirection.

Now, working with a project that the CIA probably will never use (they're a political organization, you think they'd use something if it would look like backing down?) and the military in general probably won't use (partly the Not Invented Here, partly because this is ultimately GOTS and the military are strictly prohibited from using GOTS over COTS, hence the absurd number of contractors and the absurd contract regulations and licensing issues) - meh. There's likely far more risk of death and destruction coming from using one of the NASA CFD packages and handing back a patch (as that might well be used for designing military aircraft).

This piece of software might actually be quite handy for the open source community, though. And the encryption community. There's lots of flamewars over stupid issues. The current one over on the SHA-3 mailing list is over whether NIST's security requirements should be met or if designers can "cheat" if nobody is likely to break the algorithm anyway and to be "secure" means to be slow. To me, this is stupid. You use algorithms that are "good enough" where you need the speed and you use algorithms that are "secure" when you need the security. Try getting that through some incredibly thick craniums some time. However, if a piece of software produced exactly the same advice, I can bet you anything that those same people would pay attention.

The same goes for whether Linux audio should be robust or realtime. GUIs should be KDE or Gnome. SELinux or GRSecurity. Logging FS versus Journaling. We'd be miles further along if the petty bullshit of one-upmanship didn't get in the way of actual coding. It's not a drain on resources any more than DragonFlyBSD is a drain on the development of Inferno. Totally different space, requiring totally different mindsets and totally different skills.

Re:Do we want that? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177676)

Do we really want growing open source use in the military / intelligence sphere?

Bit late to worry about that. Where do you think SELinux comes from?

Re:Do we want that? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177736)

Depends how you feel and who you might feel in 20-30 years. The young lawyer signed off on rendition flights, turned a blind eye to everything, saw full reports and just filed time.
The young doctor who watched and kept records on water boarding and more, gave treatment to ensure they could return for more sooner.
If you have a feeling your code will be used for evil, you cant stop it under open source, but you can "not add more" to any project that you know will be used for things you dont like.
Walk away and find something good and positive. In 20-30 years when fragments of records leak, are released, you will read about others, not yourself.

Re:Do we want that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33178748)

Would you feel empowered by having a killbot using your code?

Well, that sounds pretty good for home defence. Yes, I would feel empowered.

No Sale (1, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175718)

As I read the article, the guy extended to some software the CIA already had on speculation, but they don't want to buy his extension. So he has a hissy fit and decides to abandon the project and release the source. Nothing to see here...

Re:No Sale (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33179124)

and in the process burned himself in the defence and security comunity or does the USA's TS not demand absolute confidentialy.

Where is the code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33175766)

Show us the code or it's not free

Re:Where is the code? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176020)

This reminds me of some work on the Identification -- Friend or Foe box of an F101.

The box is not classified, but the code is. One suspects similarly that the program is not classified, but the use is.

what software?! (2, Insightful)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33175836)

So far, and for a while now, all this has been but site that collects peoples emails. There is NO SOFTWARE, just a promise that it's "Coming Soon"... Pardon the skepticism, but this could just be a misguided stunt by a butthurt developer to try and leverage public interest or a more nefarious scam, or just attention whoring.

Re:what software?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33176516)

Yeah, I somewhat agree.

LM seems sold on the idea of "data mining"--I believe they still see it as a panacea. Ultimately, I'm much more interested in the fact that they're releasing FOSS, and they're planning on improving on the previous Unity idea. The door is cracking just a bit further.

Who killed JonBenet? (1)

Czmyt (689032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176076)

He would probably make more money writing a book about who killed JonBenet than he would have by selling his software. I wonder if that's what he's planning to do, because he boldly said that he was wrong in thinking that the mother killer her, but he did not say who the evidence led him to believe actually did it.

Re:Who killed JonBenet? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177558)

He would probably make more money writing a book about who killed JonBenet than he would have by selling his software. I wonder if that's what he's planning to do, because he boldly said that he was wrong in thinking that the mother killer her, but he did not say who the evidence led him to believe actually did it.

      I haven't RTFA, but just as a point one could make a personal determination that the mother wasn't the murderer without being able to determine who was the murderer. In other words, believed to be sufficient info to exclude mother but insufficient info to isolate the murderer.

      Regardless, the ransom note is priceless.

  rd

Re:Who killed JonBenet? (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33178218)

In the comments section of TFA, he says that he is not interested in the case at all or that his conclusion is meaningful. Below is his comment from the page...

 

The lesson in the Ramsey case has more to do with ACH itself than this particular case. One of the benefits of ACH is that it encourages you to think objectively about a complex case. My experience with the Ramsey case highlights this effect: when I reviewed a large (yet probably incomplete) body of evidence from the case, I was certain the evidence pointed directly at Mrs. Ramsey; I’d quickly singled her out as a likely suspect and from thereon out evaluated each piece of evidence with regards to her, instead of seeing the bigger picture. My subjectivity became very clear upon putting this data set into the software and I was able to see the case through a more logically sound lens.

I should say that I don’t work in criminal justice and have no interest in the case, and I wasn’t working with an official set of evidence, so I don’t think that the small time I spent on it should be taken into account by anyone working on the case; the lesson is more about the methodology than this case.

Not the first Open Source from Lockheed (2, Informative)

kpyke (1873448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176288)

They also allowed the release of "Vortex", http://sourceforge.net/projects/vortex-ids/ [sourceforge.net] , created by Charles Smutz of Lockheed Martin. Its a Near-Real Time IDS system that captures streams and allows multiple threads to evaluate the captured data. Very nice. (Not LM, just a fan).

So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33176462)

Instead of selling our spooks the software, he instead essentially chose to give it away to all the spooks in all the countries who want it?
Let's see where that gets him... I'm guessing it'll be a back room with no windows the next time he's at the airport.

This makes no sense (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176480)

You can only make something open source if you own the rights to it or manage to get the appropriate rights to someone else. You can't make something open source if the intellectual property rights are owned by someone else.

So if, as claimed in the article, "haggling over the code's intellectual property rights has kept the software from going anywhere near Langley", then he shouldn't be able to take it open source at all. (Unless it just means that he had the rights and was haggling over giving them up.)

Re:This makes no sense (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33176502)

(appropriate rights from someone else, that is.)

Re:This makes no sense (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177786)

Langley has powerful forces in the shadows. They recall the long struggles with the NSA over signals and tapping - the CIA took many risks. They recall the code fights with the UK, Aus, Canada, NZ, the leaks and the turf wars.
Another issue is the 'Microsoft' mindset. "Open" is very evil and if they want to contract back or work with huge closed networks of merc, contractors and consultants, best not to have a your name on 'open source'.
Then you have the idea of telling the world what your interested in and the world seeing the quality of your code ;)

TrolL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33177094)

juggerNaut Either Leaving core. I

Weird (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177142)

Site summary: [competinghypotheses.org] "We don't have anything really to download, but hey, give us your email address and we'll let you know when we do. No really, it's completely legit. Just type in your email address below. We promise not to use it for anything nefarious. Really, we do."

Is something on the page off-topic? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177714)

There is a statement at the bottom of this /. page, I guess we could call it the random thought of the moment. For this page it is:

Men seldom show dimples to girls who have pimples.

For equal opportunity purposes, this should be accompanied by:

Girls seldom show nipples to men who have pimples.

I'm wondering when slashdot started indoctrinating the faithful in close encounters with the female kind.

The need for open source sensemaking tools (4, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177866)

I posted two comments related to this issue of open source sensemaking tools to understand how socio-politico-techno-economic stuff works at the following URL in response to a larger issue raised by Marshall Brain on the USA's ongoing economic decline:
http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/08/06/makes-you-think-in-america-we-realize-that-our-children-will-do-worse-than-their-parents/ [howstuffworks.com]

In short, I feel open source tools for collaborative structured arguments, multiple perspective analysis, agent-based simulation, and so on, used together for making sense of what is going on in the world, are important to our democracy, security, and prosperity. Imagine if, instead of blog posts and comments on topics, we had searchable structured arguments about simulations and their results all with assumptions defined from different perspectives, where one could see at a glance how different subsets of the community felt about the progess or completeness of different arguments or action plans (somewhat like a debate flow diagram), where even a year of two later one could go back to an existing debate and expand on it with new ideas. As good as slashdot is, such a comprehensive open source sensemaking system would be to slashdot as slashdot is to a static webpage. It might help prevent so much rehashing the same old arguments because one could easily find and build on previous ones. Hopefully in a better way than this classic: :-)
    "Argument Clinic Sketch by Monty Python"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y [youtube.com]

As I mention in my comments to Marshall Brains' blog entry, Elizabeth Warren did a terrific job of socio-economic sensemaking, in terms of "The Two Income Trap" and her presentation on the struggles of US middle-class families in the video Marshall Brain linked to. But why should even Harvard Law professors essentially wing it as far as sensemaking with only email, spreadsheets, and word processors, probably working mostly alone, and in a way that she can not easily share all the details of her explorations? Especially when the USA has invested, probably, literally billions of dollars to create software to help groups of people collectively understand complex social and economic issues? And given the US is likely to spend billions more in this area? And given that, if we have any faith in "truth", one would hope that helping everyone in the world come to a better understanding of various truths and a better understanding of each other would, in general, lead to less conflict rather than more?

I also commented on that idea about a year ago:
"[p2p-research] FOSS modeling tools (was Re: Earth's carrying capacity and Catton)"
http://listcultures.org/pipermail/p2presearch_listcultures.org/2009-August/004130.html [listcultures.org]

I tried a little to put together a non-profit foundation to do that, so far to not much success.

And here is why I feel the (non-secret) results of any public funding should be open source rather than proprietary:
http://www.pdfernhout.net/open-letter-to-grantmakers-and-donors-on-copyright-policy.html [pdfernhout.net]
http://www.pdfernhout.net/on-funding-digital-public-works.html [pdfernhout.net]

I feel there is room here for an entirely new approach towards structured collaboration across the internet. It has its roots in Doug Englebart's Augment ideas from the 1960s, and in scale may well be the next Red Hat, Wikipedia, or even Google (whether for-profit or non-profit). Or, it is possible it may be some bunch of related companies and non-profits, all using a common infrastructure but in different ways (like many services are built around the Facebook platform). I explored some related ideas in the 1980s envisioning a networked global company that sells services related to expertise gained through creating and using a public domain database about how to make things (same as how a big law firm is essentially selling expertise in public domain law).

For me, my major interest in such tools is to help people think through the implications of our society's transition to an abundance paradigm from a scarcity paradigm (such as the consequences of automation reducing the need for most paid human labor) or to identify bottlenecks in such a transition and the ways to get past them. But any community could use such tools to make sense of the local issues they were dealing with (say, a need for more local fresh vegetables?), to see how they relate to national or global issues ("Let's Move"?), and to decide as a community on effective courses of action (create a community garden?), monitor the results, and iterate the sensemaking/action process, all in a public, participatory, inclusive, consensus-building way.

I've been working towards aaspects of that over the past twenty or so years, a little bit at a time here and there as I did other things (although my thoughts on this have continued to evolve over time, in this rough order):
http://www.pdfernhout.net/princeton-graduate-school-plans.html [pdfernhout.net]
http://www.pdfernhout.net/sunrise-sustainable-technology-ventures.html [pdfernhout.net]
http://www.oscomak.net/ [oscomak.net]
http://www.kurtz-fernhout.com/oscomak/ [kurtz-fernhout.com]
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pointrel/ [sourceforge.net]

I know this won't sit well with some here, but I created the section of code that generated the graphic on this Wired page (it uses Jython and the pure Java jGL 3d Graphics library):
    http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/03/SINGAPORE [wired.com]
I wrote about that here:
    http://www.pdfernhout.net/a-rant-on-financial-obesity-and-Project-Virgle.html [pdfernhout.net]
Here is a blog post by someone else on what that sensationalist Wired article got wrong:
    http://www.cognitive-edge.com/blogs/dave/2007/03/unwired.php [cognitive-edge.com]
"However Wired manages to wander off the rails to fantasy land with its reporting of the RAHS project. I realised when they contacted me that there was a danger of them choosing to sensationalize the project by linking it to the Total Information Awareness (TIA) project in DARPA and the name of John Poindexter. So right up front I explained the difference. There had been two DARPA projects, working off two very different philosophies. One (TIA) sought to obtain and search all possible data to detect the possibility of terrorist events. That raised civil liberties concerns and much controversy in the USA leading to resignations and programme closure. A parallel program Genoa II took a very different philosophy, based on understanding nuanced narrative supporting the cognitive processes of decision makers and increasing the number of cultural and political perspectives available to policy makers. I was a part of that program, and proud to be so. It also forms the basis of our work for RAHS and contains neither the approach, not the philosophy of TIA."

As I see it, there is a race going on. The race is between two trends. On the one hand, the internet can be used to profile and round up dissenters to the scarcity-based economic status quo (thus legitimate worries about privacy and something like TIA). On the other hand, the internet can be used to change the status quo in various ways (better designs, better science, stronger social networks advocating for things like a basic income, all supported by better structured arguments like with the Genoa II approach)
    http://w2.eff.org/Privacy/TIA/genoaII.php [eff.org]
to the point where there is abundance for all and rounding up dissenters to mainstream economics is a non-issue because material abundance is everywhere. So, as Bucky Fuller said, whether is will be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race to the very end. While I can't guarantee success at the second option of using the internet for abundance for all, I can guarantee that if we do nothing, the first option of using the internet to round up dissenters (or really, anybody who is different, like was done using IBM computers in WWII Germany) will probably prevail. So, I feel the global public really needs access to these sorts of sensemaking tools in an open source way, and the way to use them is not so much to "fight back" as to "transform and/or transcend the system". As Bucky Fuller said, you never change thing by fighting the old paradigm directly; you change things by inventing a new way that makes the old paradigm obsolete.

To the end of helping build a better world, my wife has (on her own time) created some open source software (Rakontu) and an open source book about the aspects of these techniques that she is familiar with.
    http://www.workingwithstories.org/ [workingwithstories.org]
    http://www.rakontu.net/ [rakontu.net]

And I've worked towards several open source projects like OSCOMAK and Pointrel linked above.

Are our own contributions (especially mine) pitiful in comparison with the scope of the problems facing this nation? Yes, I'd be the first to agree. :-) But we've tried as much as we can as a unpaid labor-of-love on the side while we focus on other things. It's sad to think about all the billions of dollars that are getting poured into proprietary versions of this stuff to just rot away as the article describes. Wikipedia took only about two million US dollars to get started and reach a point where the community took over in a big way. It might take a lot more to make these more complex tools into a new global platform and seed them with data (a million dollars might be too little, a billion dollars would probably be more than enough :-), but it would likely be worth it, IMHO. I have every confidence this will happen eventually even from little unpaid labors-of-love (there are other aspects of this on the web already, like some free structured argument tools or simulation tools) -- the question is, will it happen fast enough and integrated enough to outrace other negative trends like the concentration of wealth and power also facilitated by the internet?

Re:The need for open source sensemaking tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33178994)

Thank you for this post, your insight is invaluable.

Re:The need for open source sensemaking tools (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33179100)

for a very small value of makes sense

Re:The need for open source sensemaking tools (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182984)

"Thank you for this post, your insight is invaluable."

Thank you Mr./Ms. A.C. :-)

I put some more comments on the How Stuff Works blog entry; an excerpt from there as I ping-pong these back and forth:
http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/08/06/makes-you-think-in-america-we-realize-that-our-children-will-do-worse-than-their-parents/ [howstuffworks.com]
"""
To add something new and state the obvious, someone with business and technical savvy and a track record of creating interesting companies could probably create a huge company doing this, and ideally, would do that in a globally cooperative way as much as possible, within an organizational framework informed by Alfie Kohn's book "Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes".
    Maybe SAS could expand into this area, given it already has the social aspects of such an organization? :-) But they historically don't do open source. Or maybe Kitware or RedHat could expand into this area, given they already have the open source aspects? :-) [Although they may not get the Alfie Kohn Punished By Rewards aspects that SAS understands?] Or maybe there could be a spinoff from some existing organization that focuses on how stuff works? :-) Or maybe it would be best to have an entirely new set of organizations, especially a non-profit foundation that shepherds related standards in an open way, similar to how Debian/SPI, Apache, the PSF, or the FSF works perhaps?
    As I see it, there is no point in doing this stuff in "secret". And also, citing Alfie Kohn, the people who do this best are not going to be the ones focused on the material rewards side of it. We will no doubt eventually see a bunch of different cooperating organizations that work towards such goals, each with their own strengths and weaknesses in different situations. And it might be fun for many people to be part of it and make their own diverse free and open source contributions to it from whatever motivations.
    But one thing is for sure IMHO: trying to make sense of what is going on in a time of rapid technological and social transitions, to collaboratively think about how stuff works on a global scale, is a huge potential industry with billions of US$ on the table every year even now (most of it apparently wasted according to Wired), and the long-term stakes in this game are even higher (as Elizabeth Warren details). So, rather than fight over slices of that particular pie, we might all be better off trying to grow that open source intelligence pie right now. :-)
"""

And there is some further related discussion on the "Open Manufacturing" list in this thread.
http://groups.google.com/group/openmanufacturing/browse_thread/thread/413f03f03243029d [google.com]

This is why they can't catch Bin Laden (1)

rcamans (252182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33177904)

They are too worked up about what is their territory to work with anyone else, or use anyone else's info / software. They are too busy marking their territory, like the dumb dogs they are.
I can just hear them now:
Hey, git away from there. That's my tree.
It's not your tree. I just marked it.
Hey guys, did you just hear an explosion?
I don't care if you did just mark it. It's in my yard.
Does anyone smell smoke?
I don't care if it is in your yard. Just sniff it. You'll know I have been marking it. It's my tree.
Do you hear sirens?
It's in my yard, it's my tree. Now get out of my yard.
Is that gunfire?

This is a crock of crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33178680)

Govt contracts I have SEEN have stipulations in them that all IP belongs to the Govt. to include source code when code is specifically developed under contract. If a contractor wishes to create a program for another Govt. agency and reuse some of that code all they need to do is ask their previous customer for permission. If they are doing a contract for the same customer then again all they need to do is ASK. GFE code and hardware are moved from project to project ALL THE FUCKING TIME! Contractors CAN develop things on their own and attempt to sell it to multiple agencies. However unless the license specifically states that it cannot be shared the Govt. is free to share it with other agencies - and they DO.

I have no idea why this guy had such an issue getting his code adopted but it had ZERO to do with code reuse, sharing, or any of the other bullshit insinuations made about how the Govt. pays for the same thing over and over. News flash - if a contractor builds a piece of software under contract for one Govt. agency and then tries to sell that same software to another Govt. agency it is ILLEGAL. Agencies DO actually talk to one another and in fact they will collaborate together concerning contractors to figure out which ones are trying to screw them. Contractors that do this get called on the carpet and suddenly find themselves no longer receiving notices about new contract work. This goes both ways BTW, some Govt. groups screw contractors and you had better believe word gets out pretty quickly. What's that - you took my innovative white paper and asked another contractor to build it for you instead of me? Oh you reverse engineered my shiny piece of software that I allowed you to test and built your own? Yeah, THAT agency now finds that rates are higher and bidders fewer...

BTW - this guy wasn't a "CIA Developer". He developed this software on his own or at his companies request and attempted to get it purchased by the Govt. If he had developed this under the direction of the CIA or anyone else as claimed, which would make him a "CIA Developer" and then released it in the way he did then he would have done something ILLEGAL because he would NOT have owned the code. All of this noise about people haggling over it makes it sound like his company directed him to build this with development dollars and is now crying because whatever huge sum of cash they then wanted for it wasn't accepted. THAT is what really happens.

This story is horseshit from the word go and stinks to high heaven of ignorance. Sorry that for some reason someone didn't jump on your shiny piece of software but that doesn't mean it was because they wanted to support some contractor somewhere.

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