Lobbying for insecurity

Thursday, 29 August 2002, 10:52 AM EST

The U.S. National Security Agency's contribution to open-source security, Security-Enhanced Linux, found broad approval and support in geek forums from Wired News to Slashdot that are typically suspicious of the government.

It's not surprising that it couldn't last, however, and a recent CNET article suggests that the NSA may not make further contributions to software released under the GNU General Public License, and perhaps other open-source licenses.

What prompted this decision? Not abuse of their code by script kiddies, nor the ungrateful trolling of the hordes, but lobbying by the U.S. software industry against the government giving away something that could compete with products sold commercially. Microsoft in particular allegedly conducted intense lobbying to block further open-source development by the NSA, according to CNET.

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