The White House released a directive outlining new federal rules and initiatives that are intended to increase information sharing and strengthen information technology infrastructure.
The main concept of the policy is to ensure that any new or customized software that was “developed specifically by or for the Federal Government” must be made available for all federal agencies. (RELATED: Everything Online Is Connected, Now There’s A Growing Need For Cyber Insurance)
“This policy also establishes a pilot program that requires agencies, when commissioning new custom software, to release at least 20 percent of new custom-developed code as Open Source Software (OSS) for three years,” according to the official memorandum.
The Office of Management and Budget will be the “guinea pig” for the two-year pilot program, according to Engadget.
The federal government and its many agencies have a bad reputation for not properly securing data and rarely establishing cybersecurity safeguards. The Office of Personnel Management and the Internal Revenue Service both have had highly hazardous data breaches, highlighting the need for increased cybersecurity efforts from the public sphere. (RELATED: America’s Security Problems Start With The TSA, But Certainly Don’t End There)
This initiative is another attempt by President Barack Obama and U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott to increase transparency, while simultaneously increasing efficiency and cost savings. It remains to be seen if releasing 20 percent of the code is transparent enough, and if more bureaucratic correspondence will substantially increase savings and cybersecurity.
This directive is fairly similar to one the Obama administration announced a couple of months ago. Part of Obama’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan, the federal government set up a one-stop shop for its many institutions to purchase cybersecurity technology to bolster the country’s virtual infrastructure. (RELATED: Hundreds Of Organizations Worldwide Fail At Cybersecurity)
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