CIA Software Developer Goes Open Source, Instead
Aug 05, 2010, 12:06 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Noah Shachtman)
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"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.
"Burton, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and
software developer, speaks today at the Military Open Source
Software Working Group in Virginia. It's a gathering of 80 or so
national security tech-types who've heard a thousand stories about
good ideas and good code getting sunk, because of squabbles over
who owns the software.
"Burton, for example, spent years on what should've been a
straightforward project. Some CIA analysts work with a tool,
"Analysis of Competing Hypotheses," to tease out what evidence
supports (or, mostly, disproves) their theories. But the Java-based
software is single-user — so there's no ability to share
theories, or add in dissenting views."