Friday, October 16, 2009

OSFA Case Study - NSA

"The NSA found it was spending too much money to acquire software that was quickly obsolete. It was dependent on a handful of companies who had every reason to lock the NSA into their platform. What's worse, the private sector had no ready access to this technology that could be enormously helpful in the war against hackers and viruses.

Stephen Smalley at the NSA had a new approach. He knew that if he could solve the MLS problem with open source software, it would
simultaneously reduce the cost of the software, open the field to new innovations, and make the technology available to the private sector. In one stroke.

So Smalley and his team did something unprecedented: they took their proof of concept and released it to the world as a project called
SELinux. It began as a set of changes to the open source Linux operating system, but soon it was completely integrated. What was once expensive and proprietary was now available to millions of Linux users and developers at no charge."

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