Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Navy to use OSS

Navy CIO 'recognizes the importance of OSS to the warfighter'

This is HUGE news. To me it shows that Linux and OSS is a force to be reckoned with. I mean, everyone knows that NSA has it's own Linux Kernel...but for a branch of the Armed Services to come out and say that OSS is important to them.

Department of the Navy CIO Robert J. Carey signed a memorandum (pdf download) today entitled "DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE GUIDANCE" which first notes that misconceptions about whether or not open source software qualifies as COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) or GOTS (government off-the-shelf) software has hindered the Navy's ability to fully utilize open source software. The new guidance memo unequivocally states that the Navy will now "treat OSS as COTS when it meets the definition of a commercial item" in an enclosure to the memorandum."


Weathersby notes on the OSSI website that "The 'User Guidance Memorandum' is the first in a series of guidance documents to be developed by the DON (Department of the Navy) to address issues regarding 'Users' of open source software within all Navy IT systems." He added that "Future guidance memorandums will address 'development' and 'distribution' issues regarding open source within Navy IT environments."

"The working group included representatives from the Navy, Marine Corps, the IT Industry, vendors, and the open source community. Weathersby was a part of that working group and said, “It was truly a group effort, but as a representative of the Open Source Community and commercial IT industry, I offer the men and women who worked on this project a sincere and heartfelt thanks and a special recognition for their vision, fortitude, and leadership.”

Taken from Enterprise Being in the U.S. Coast Guard it is exciting for me, as this may soon come to pass for our service. Luckily I am allowed to use Firefox, while I wish I could use more OSS at work, it will have to suffice for now.

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