This month, GitHub penned a letter urging the United States Senate and House of Representatives to support open source provisions in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets policies for the Department of Defense (DoD) budget. As the Senate and House move towards agreement on the final NDAA bill, we encourage both chambers to maintain the Senate’s open source provisions, which will ultimately benefit Americans and the global community.
Sponsored by Senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties, Mike Rounds and Elizabeth Warren, the provisions show that open source is a bipartisan issue. Section 886 would require unclassified, non-defense software that is custom developed for the DoD to be open source unless otherwise specified.
Makes sense, right? After all, DoD has a long hisory of using and creating open source software, and adopting policies to support these practices. Earlier this year, the DoD debuted Code.mil, which leverages open source to engage the software community and modernize software practices at the agency. DoD is joined by a growing list of U.S. federal agencies adopting open source, including the National Security Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Our 2017 Octoverse report shows how open source is core infrastructure embraced by individual developers, startups, and the most valuable companies in the world, allowing all to innovate faster, more efficiently, and more securely.
Likewise, government engagement with open source strengthens economic competitiveness, national security, promotes new ideas and technology, and saves taxpayers' money. To learn more about how the government can benefit from open source, check out our letter!