Is The US Gov't Worried That Open Source Software May Fall Into The Wrong Hands?

from the whatever-will-we-do dept

Lee Courtney writes “Was reading about the U.S. Government nixing Checkpoint’s acquisition of Sourcefire. Apparently the FBI and DoD are worried that Sourcefire’s Snort technology could fall into the wrong hands: ‘The objections by the FBI and Pentagon were partly over specialized intrusion detection software known as “Snort,” which guards some classified U.S. military and intelligence computers.’ However, Snort is open source — anybody can access the technology. Hard to believe they did not know that. Is there something else going on here or are the guys vetting this deal a little slow?” Most likely there’s something more going on here — or they’re worried about other, closed source, offerings that the company may develop in the future.

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Comments on “Is The US Gov't Worried That Open Source Software May Fall Into The Wrong Hands?”

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Chris Maresca (user link) says:

You're all wrong

Snort is extensively deployed throughout the governement and has been internally modified by the governement to suit it’s needs. What they are worried about is Checkpoint’s history of substituting Open Source with their own products, often derived from Open Source and letting the Open Source verison slowly die out, thus forcing customers to upgrade.

In this case, it isn’t possible due to the extensive modifications to snort by the US gov’t, modifications they are unlikely to give back to Checkpoint (an Israeli company) for incorportation into their products.


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