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

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Open/Hacker Hardware

4MLinux 20.1 released.

This is a minor maintenance release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel. The release ships with the Linux kernel 4.4.34, which restores PAE support that "magically" disappeared in 4MLinux 20.0 (sorry :-). Additionally, some popular programs (Double Commander, Dropbox, Firefox, Java RE, Opera, PeaZip, Thunderbird, Wine) have been updated, too. Read more

Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse

Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability. Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package. Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties. Others offer new adopters something unique that makes using them fun and productive. Refracta is one of the few full-service Linux distros that makes an easy and more convenient replacement for pocket Linux options such as Puppy Linux. Not all Linux distros that install to a USB drive -- and have the ability to save files and system settings in a persistent mode -- work equally well. Read more