Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

CIA Software Developer Goes Open Source, Instead

Filed under
Software

For three years, Matthew Burton has been trying to get a simple, useful software tool into the hands of analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency. For three years, haggling over the code’s intellectual property rights has kept the software from going anywhere near Langley. So now, Burton’s releasing it — free to the public, and under an open source license.

Burton, for example, spent years on what should’ve been a straightforward project. Some CIA analysts work with a tool, “Analysis of Competing Hypotheses,” to tease out what evidence supports (or, mostly, disproves) their theories. But the Java-based software is single-user — so there’s no ability to share theories, or add in dissenting views. Burton, working on behalf of a Washington-area consulting firm with deep ties to the CIA, helped build on spec a collaborative version of ACH. He tried it out, using the JonBenet Ramsey murder case as a test. Burton tested 51 clues — the lack of a scream, evidence of bed-wetting — against five possible culprits. “I went in, totally convinced it all pointed to the mom,” Burton says. “Turns out, that wasn’t right at all.”

The program was supposed to work with Analytic Space, an online workspace for spooks.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

Open Source Code Contains Fewer Defects, But There's a Catch

Research suggests that software developed using open source code contains fewer defects than that built with proprietary code. The catch is that open source code rarely benefits from security teams specifically tasked with looking for bugs. Read more

Gngr: A New Web Browser Focused On Privacy

A group of developers have started writing their own open-source web browser that primarily is designed to increase web privacy and greater security. Gngr is the new web browser under development and its conservative defaults mean no cookies, JavaScript, HTTP referring support, third-party frames, and a minimalistic user-agent string. Gngr is written in Java to make use of the Java runtime's sandboxing abilities but ultimately they plan to switch over to some other JVM-based language. While the code has yet to drop on Gngr, it's said to be coming after the initial release. Those interested in more information on this privacy-focused web-browser can visit Gngr.info. Read more

Linux Kernel 3.17.4 Is Now the Most Advanced Version Available

Greg Kroah-Hartman has released a new version of the Linux kernel, 3.17.4, and this is now the most advanced release available for download. It will remain like this for a few more week, at least until the new 3.18 branch will be made available. Read more

Parted Magic 2014.11.19 Now Has Boot Repair Option

Parted Magic is a Linux distribution that features numerous tools for disk management, such as GParted and Parted. It’s one of the best distros of its kind, but also a commercial OS. Read more