FC: Terrorists could use open source software to wreak havoc!

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 04 2002 - 20:02:33 PDT

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    [Just because an entity receives MS cash does not necessarily mean MS 
    dictates its opinions. Still, this is pretty silly. --Declan]
    From: "Richard M. Smith" <rmsat_private>
    To: <declanat_private>
    Subject: Open Source Software May Offer Target for Terrorists, According to 
    Study by Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
    Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 09:43:54 -0400
    IMHO, This press release is an updated version of red-baiting from the
    cold war era.  Microsoft does provide funding to the ADTI folks, but it
    is unclear if Microsoft sponsered this particular study.  Ironically the
    ADTI Web site uses Apache.
    Open Source Software May Offer Target for Terrorists, According to Study
    by Alexis de Tocqueville Institution's Committee for the Common Defense
         Business Editors
         WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 30, 2002--Terrorists trying to hack
    or disrupt U.S. computer networks might find it easier if the federal
    government attempts to switch to "open source" as some groups propose.
         "Opening the Open Source Debate", a soon to be released white paper
    by Alexis de Tocqueville Institution details the complex issues
    surrounding open source, particularly if federal agencies such as the
    Department of Defense or the Federal Aviation Administration use
    software that inherently requires that its blueprints, source code and
    architecture is made widely available to any person interested - without
         In a paper to be released next week, the Alexis de Tocqueville
    Institution outlines how open source might facilitate efforts to disrupt
    or sabotage electronic commerce, air traffic control or even sensitive
    surveillance systems.
         Unlike proprietary software, open source software does not make the
    underlying code of a software confidential.
         "Computer systems are the backbone to U.S. national security", says
    Fossedal, chairman of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution and its
    Committee for the Common Defense, which will release the study. "Before
    the Pentagon and other federal agencies make uninformed decision to
    alter the very foundation of computer security, they should study the
    potential consequences carefully."
         CONTACT: Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
                  Ken Brown, 202/548-0006
         SOURCE: Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
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