Apr 12, 17 / Tau 18, 01 12:03 UTC

Will government organizations be required to use open source software? (and possibly extending that to hardware/etc)  

If cybersecurity will be taken seriously in Asgardia (as it should be), then the question of what software will handle our data will inevitably come up.

My opinion on the matter is that closed source solutions and vendor lock-ins can pose a problem. Closed source solutions can undermine trust in the organization in question, since citizens would have no way of verifying the security and privacy of their data and vendor lock-ins can create technical debt, more and more of it as they pile up. The recommendation of the infosec community has long been that it is always better to use open source software that everyone can check for security holes and if necessary, paying a related company for priority support and insurance if something does go wrong, instead of paying for closed source software and praying that the company won't sell someone a backdoor or just disappear before fixing a critical bug.

Anyways, I am sure there are many people more qualified than me who can talk more in-depth about this issue, so I leave it up to them.

Apr 12, 17 / Tau 18, 01 12:10 UTC

If the government mostly uses specialized software designed by and programmed by its own personnel (which is completely possible) and only uses open source software for things it has no desire to program itself (like word processing, email handling, document storage, etc), that should suffice in terms of software security, if the software is actually reviewed and compiled locally.

I am a big fan of Linux myself.


May 2, 17 / Gem 10, 01 09:00 UTC

me to, I currently use Ubuntu Mate. I am a big fan of open source.

May 3, 17 / Gem 11, 01 17:10 UTC

I think Asgardia should use open source software (and to develop his one too) for many reasons, not the least of them is the cost. Linux have been proven to be extremely scalable and reliable so it's the most used for "heavy jobs" (just look at Top-500 statistics by Operating System: "others" is 3,8%).
Opensource, as correctly stated by @raingloom, will save us from closed source's companies lock-in, will help us into security field, robotic, automation, and much more.

May 4, 17 / Gem 12, 01 16:48 UTC

You're absolutely true, @petrv, but as far as I can see, RedHat, SuSE and others are not that "proprietary": they're selling their own knowledge, support services, and "black box" services, while installing and handling opensource distributions. To make things easy: they're not selling "linux" nor some kind of "private linux" but mostly services (that's about SLA) and support, together with some (that's true) privately developed tools, which GPL is not against to.

"Open Source" is the "base concept" to differentiate from "Closed Source" which, as told, is "the problem". Just to say: China is developing COS, China Operating System, which is a linux distro, along with their own CPUs (Dragon and successors) to be sure there will be nothing which will "call home" (where "home" will be "not China" ;-)) in their public administration.
Using OpenSource doesn't mean one is limited to rely to "the community": nowadays there are plenty of serious companies which administers and help administering linux-based infrastructures.

The same should do Asgardia but, as our resources are not at China's level, we should rely on the previously mentioned "commercial distros" (so SuSE, IMHO) exactly for the reasons you mentioned, before to be completely autonomous in handling our own IT infrastructure (worth remembering AIRC owns an IT team too).
I'm not an RPM-based distros' lover, even if I installed and used SuSE in the past, so I can see more happily any company who can help us on Debian (would like to say CentOS too but it's an RH derivation which strives to be fully RH-compatible, so again RPMs). But that's just my own preference, after playing with RPM and APT.

What I know for sure, our IT structure can't be Windows based... it someone would like to survive, while on Asgardia. :-D

NAK (Chaptcha is the truth!!! X-D)

May 7, 17 / Gem 15, 01 20:20 UTC

That's true but, apart "we" banned one of the most security experts around (lol), the OS choice will come from the security choices so, I'm 99% sure, if we'll not directly rely on Unix (which makes little sense right now), we'll have to rely on Linux (which distro will depend on the support).
I'm not a security expert too but I've really difficulties to see something different from Linux (or, better, *nix, which imply even *BSD) on security front.
Sure can't do security with Windows. ;-)
(historical note: even Microsoft had to adopt *BSD as Win kernel, to meet DoD's security standards, and it did with Windows/NT which had a BSD kernel and a BSD filesystem, NTFS, the last one still used for the next Windows releases 'till now)

Jun 8, 17 / Can 19, 01 12:58 UTC

It might be worth finding out how many supporters of Asgardia idea would be interested in maintaining and developing Open Source software and its implementations at their free time on regular basis. Since the community is rather tech-oriented, creating such dev teams might be just what is needed at the beginning. I myself would be eager to contribute.

Dec 6, 17 / Cap 04, 01 08:39 UTC

Just a nitpick if you don't mind. Open-source doesn't necessarily means it's free or with no support. it means the source code is open. Some have their source code open and we'd be able to modify it without making any payments, but then we wouldn't have support and security updates. Others provide updates and support for their software but said software is still open source and we can audit it before we even get into contact with said organizations.