Open Source in the Government

The common theory of government is that governing structures have no power except those that they derive from the masses, who deliberately give up their freedoms for the purpose of securing order, stability, and protection of their rights. This is similar to the forces working in open source communities. Think about it. Open Source projects have no power, except as derived from their supporters, who deliberately give up their time for the purpose of collaborating to build better technology, freely available to anyone, to be used for the benefit of anyone.

Both systems have strengths and weaknesses. Both have a history of success in America. Both can have schisms and free-riders. Government and Open Source are like long lost twins.

I wrote an article that was published at about the adoption of open source software in the US Government. If you are interested, you should check it out. Here is a sneak peek:

“There are times when it is hard to believe that anything innovative is happening in Washington. At the recent World Government Summit on Open Source, though, it became clear that over the past several years there has been a quiet transformation in the way government agencies are using technology.”

“Throughout the course of the October 11 event, which is a gathering for open source advocates in the public sector, I noticed a trend in the conversation. There was a simple idea we kept returning to again and again: Open source software is influencing government today, and in a big way.”

Read the rest at