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Technocrat.net: Open Source Critique Criticized [Bruce Perens' Rebuttal]

Apr 17, 2000, 16:43 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Perens)

"At Security Focus, Elias Levy has posted a Critique of Open Source Security. He's made some bad assumptions that I feel invalidate most of his criticism. Here's my rebuttal."

"The Gauntlet firewall published by Trusted Information Systems was not an Open Source program. It's what we call "disclosed source-code", and that's very important because that difference means that nobody had much reason to read it or work on it. The software license didn't provide them any incentive to do so - you would have only been fixing bugs in a program that somebody else has an exclusive right to sell. Who wants to be the unpaid employee of another company? With real Open Source, you have the same right to sell the program as anyone else, or to distribute it for free, for that matter, and thus you aren't some company's unpaid dupe."

"At the time of the Morris Internet worm, the BSD software distribution of which Sendmail is a part was under a restrictive license and required an expensive ATT Unix license before you could get the system. This is also not what we today know as Open Source. Besides, you are writing about the epochal Internet virus, and few people even considered Internet security before that event."

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