Open source is fertile ground for foul play

Monday, 16 February 2004, 5:24 PM EST

An old adage that governments would be well-served to heed is: You get what you pay for. When you rely on free or low-cost products, you often get the shaft, and that, in my opinion, is exactly what governments are on track to get. Perhaps not today, nor even tomorrow, and not because open source products are less capable or less efficient than commercial products, but because sooner or later, governments that rely on free open source software will put their country's and their citizens' data in harm's way. Eventually—and inevitably—an open source product will be found to contain a security breach—not one discovered by hackers, security personnel, or a CS student or professor. Instead, the security breach will be placed into the open source software from inside, by someone working on the project.

By A. Russell Jones at DevX.

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