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”.