The “Open Skies” treaty built trust between cold-war superpowers. Maybe open source can help us trust that a nuclear war won’t start by mistake?
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This episode is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Created by: Mathias Bolt Lesniak
Creative advisor: Jeffrey A. “jam” McGuire
Welcome to episode eight … … of the Open Source Utopia Podcast. Warning! This episode is a thought experiment. What if the software launching and guiding … … nuclear missiles was open source? Sure, I wish they weren't around in the first place, but the scariest thing isn't that they're around. It's that someone might use them. Or … … that some software bug makes them … … go off by mistake. Because all software contains bugs. But open source software gives everyone … … the freedom to look at the code … … at the code and discover errors … … in logic or in security. Nuclear arms treaties between … … the USA and the Soviet Union … … gave each country ways to verify … … each other's compliance. For example by using spy sattelites. Not “Open Source”, but “Open Skies”. Why shouldn't we, the public, be given the same chance to ensure our safety? I expect we won't be allowed … … to make our own changes, but if we had access to review the code, I think it would build trust. Understanding that building trust is important … … doesn't take a rocket scientist. Or maybe seeing the code would … … would make us all lose trust? Well, anyway. There's another side to government code … … that shouldn't be controversial at all. Why is software produced with … … public tax money so often closed souce? Wouldn't we all win … … if local and national governments … … could share their peaceful software projects, instead of reinventing the wheel over and over? More about that in episode nine, “Public Code”.