Open Source Software And Its Applications In Military

An open source software is a software whose source code is available for the common public. There are various applications of open source software. Military units of many countries are making major use of the software to make technological advancement in their equipment. The technical units of the military divisions are trying to figure out the feasibility of such software in the military systems.

What is open source software?

A software does not become open source only by making its source code available to the public. In order to pass as open source, a software must inherit few other qualities

  • Source Code – The source code of the program of the software must be available in the compiled form. In the products where source code is not available, a separate download link must be available in order to download the source code without any payment required.
  • The Integrity of source code – It is essential that the developer of the code does not restrict any modification in the source or binary files. The license of the software must clearly permit the distribution and modification of the source codes.
  • Derivative works – The open source software licenses must allow the distribution of software containing modified source code in the same name as of the original software.
  • Free Distribution – The distribution of the source code must be completely free and no hidden or extra charges must be applied.

The major benefits of the use of OSS include increased reliability of the systems, more flexible programming of the software, enhanced quality of the system and their working efficiency, and low costs.

Applications in Military

In military, open source software, control a large array of technology. The most common usage of the software in the military includes weapon and unmanned vehicle guidance. Therefore, the software must be of high standard and provide great efficiency. In addition, they must be completely safe and reliable.

  • Systems – The software can control several complex systems like pacemakers, missiles or even airplanes. Various programming languages make up the software and they can run on the various operating system like Linux, LynxOS etc. Many companies around the world contribute to make such software for their respective military units. NASA programs, missile systems, air force radar systems all use such software.
  • Testing – The use of this software is in various fields including defense, tactical, aerospace, and ground military equipment. Hence, they must not fail at any point. The use of this type of software is seen in radar systems and satellites. Hence, they must go through proper testing to ensure the smooth running of the systems working on them. In order to ensure this, the developers ensure to make software go through various simulations and tests before handing them out to the military units.
  • Standards – Depending on the system, requirements and its designation military keep a hold on the software. For example, The Federal Aviation Administration regulates the software used in planes. The standards are set on the software based on their previous efficiency of work and updates based on issues in the software.

The military forces of various countries are investing in OSS for advancing their military systems. US Defence forces have recently planned to incorporate source code repositories of GitHub in order to increase its approach for tackling potential threats in the development communities.

The use of open source software in the military has greatly improved the weapons technology increasing the defenses of the country ensuring the safety of the nation. With advancement in the technology and creation of more advanced reliable systems, nations can prevent their soldiers from injuries in wars.

Why the open source software is a demanded one

An electronic device or gadget combines with hardware and software. The combination is important to measure the quality of the device. Now the software part is more difficult than the hardware part because proper optimization is needed to implement it perfectly. There are basically two platforms of a software, one is open-source and another one is closed source. It is easy to get the open source software and the software is useful. Most of the software running by the gadgets are the open source software.

What is an open source software

Open source refers to the source code which is open means available. That means the open source software codes are available and if someone wants to customize it or modify it, they can do it. The main reason to create an open source software is to gain the publicity and guess what, it is successful so far. The commonly used operating system Android is an open source software. It is a public collaboration. A developer can modify it for free with its source codes and kernel sources. After customizing it, proper coding and testing are required. Even if you are someone who is not a professional developer, you can design it too with proper coding. It’s basically an open source way to inspect, modify and enhance the software.

Difference between open source software and others

There is some kind of software available only which some people or a specific team or a specific developer can modify and customize it. This software is called the proprietary software or closed source software where the source code is available only to some limited individuals. However, in case of an open source software, the function is just the opposite. The authors made the source code available to all so that anyone can modify it. However, before using the software you need to agree to some of the licenses and agreements and both software has different agreements. Make sure of it before customizing an open source software.

The advantages over the other software

The open source software is beneficial for the programmers as well as the non-programmers too. The usage of open source software is very popular and it has its reasons. There are many software and even some daily software which are open source. Most of the necessary software is the example of it.

  • Implementing the open source software is easy rather than another type of software. Using the internet today is the benefit of using an open source software.
  • To control the open source software is easier. Creating a programmer of an open source software is an easier task than becoming other programmers. Developers, beginners or students can easily study it and be a programmer.
  • One of the other reason is the security. The open source software is preferable because it is secure and stable than any other type of software. You can check an error, detect a bug and fix it by your own while in case of closed source software the reason is not the same because if any error is detected then only the developers of it can fix it.
  • As the open source software is distributed publicly so the developers have to make it stable. The public may be a programmer or a non-programmer and if it goes to the hand of anyone then there won’t be any chance of risking it because the developers make sure it is stable.

Overall in any time, any instance, the open source software is the software having a high demand.

Popular open source software

Android is the most popular open source software right now and many reputed brands are giving a customized skin to it. Linux is a perfect and efficient example of widely used open source software. Some of other open source software are GNU, Ubuntu, MySQL, Samba, Bind, Sendmail and many.

There is no doubt that no other closed source software can’t beat open source software right now. The open source software has an impact on all areas of life – science, medical, education, government, manufacturing and many more.

 

Military Open Source Software For Preserving The Integrity Of The Nation

When it comes to national security, one has to more careful than ever. Even the slightest mistake can lead to great mishaps and disasters. It is for this reason that any matter or issue which is of national concern takes time to get processed and decided upon. When it comes to the tools designed for the efficient performance of organizations meant for the national defense, one can never be careless while designing and checking them. It is for this reason that military software is always a sensitive area and one should never take it easy.

About the military software

The military open source software is basically the open source software that is designed for the maintenance and upkeep of the military tools and record. This software enables the defense organizations to keep the sensitive information safe and also contains specific information about the military cars and other vehicles that are being specially designed for the purpose ensuring the security and safety of the organization and the country in general. This software is mainly open source ones which mean that these are computer software the source code of which is released only after the completion of the entire licensing process. This includes the acquisition of rights from the copyright holder for the purpose of studying, modifying and distributing the software as per the convenience of the one who acquires it. This software is usually procured for some specific purpose and a lot of cross-checking and confirmation is involved before permitting any other party to use the software.

The source code of the software

Just like any other ordinary software, the military software also requires a specific source code to validate its authenticity. Now, for a military software, it is essential that the program must give the rights to distribute the software in the source code as well as in compilation too. This is to say that an open source software must have all the necessary permission granted to the buyer from the vendor. This is a part of checking the license of the software. Any software which makes way for the availability of source code cannot be categorized as an open source software till the source code, as well as the compiled form of the program, does not allow the distribution of the software. This excludes the intermediate forms like the translator and also the confusing source code which is a deliberate attempt to misguide the buyer.

Preservation of integrity

Making use of open source software in the defense organizations is quite beneficial as it does not make compromises with the authenticity of the software. This is to say that till the time the license does not give the permission to distribute the software, the software cannot be sold or modified for any other purpose. This ensures the safety and security of military files and records which proves to be helpful for the organizations.

Another major benefit derived with the help of these open source software is that an open source software allows for the modifications and changes to be made in the software and its source code. This follows in the manner as the other party gets the permission to sell the modified version of the software but it is to be kept in mind that the terms of the original software must not change. Besides, the software is free to use which means that it is free of all restrictions and inhibitions from the owner.

Thus, with the help of military open source software, you can ensure the safety and security of the military database.

 

New Policy towards Open Source Platforms

Every military around the world uses different open source software solutions to address cyber-attacks and communicate safely with the outside world. The American military too implements user of open sourced software to provide the nation its history and have in-depth analysis of all the missions for the researchers and scholars to review. One can browse into all sorts of details as what the purpose of military is, what it does and how it is funded or just have a look at the hierarchy and ranks in the department with their operational powers. The military has been looking to develop its software technology rapidly as it’s the modern way of communication and warfare in this advanced world. It helps them stay in ground with all other militaries around the world and gain great insights into developing treaties with nations for friendly military base relations.

Open-source tech leads the way to innovation.
Open-source tech leads the way to innovation.

It is important for the military to advance its technological application and use the latest software’s to track down potential threats and develop combating strategies towards the next revolution in the world. Hence the official policy of the US Department of defense states that no use of open source software without a waiver. In fact, a lot of the essential tools out there in the data center are said to be of open source as per the insider information. Considering the new cyber warfare that has been relevant in this century widely due to its incredible dependence. So countries have adopted certain measures to counter cybercrime and warfare with certain policies and amendments in its constitution and also equipping its military base with proper skills to combat such forces.

Policy Update:

Keeping this in hindsight, the department of defense of the US has released a new approach or strategy towards its action plans for countering cybersecurity hazards and threats being posed by China and Russia along with other nations. A brief summary of the issue has stated that the Defence Department is keen to build up its joint force’s capability to carry out various cyber operations to benefit the country’s military advantage and defend the US from malicious threats to its critical infrastructure and thereby secure the Pentagon’s information system from cyber crashes and attacks.

Key Highlights:

  • The department has also talked about enhancing in the innovation of leveraging data analytics, automation and use of open source platforms to build a lethal force around the cyberspace.
  • Along these lines, it also looks forward to developing and establishing new partnerships and alliances with services to compete in the cyber era.
  • The agency envisions to integrate the cyber awareness program in its institutional culture and boost cyber accountability and help crowdsourced threat detection as one of the core reforms.
  • On similar lines, for development of open source software platforms, it looks to launch a cyber talent management initiative aimed at a pathway towards sustaining and healthy cyberspace for software developers and hardware engineers.

With the new Trump administration regulation that repeals the Obama’s guidelines, it has permitted the use of offensive cyber operations using open source platforms to track down the potential threat. Having cited its interference in the 2016 elections both during the general elections and the DNC hack in the campaign run. It has come to serious notice to address and preserved the data at military database software with utmost security for national interest. Hence Pentagon has joined hands with the Department of Defence to develop a plan that helps to counter such attacks by minimizing its potential rise by allowing intrusion of offensive cyber operations to protect nation’s interest. It has been highlighted to be the core concern of the nation which has to be addressed soon.