Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: Thomas Lord <>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 10:22:57 -0700

Anderson, Kelly wrote:
> Explain to me the benefit to the government of internally putting an
> open source license (any open source licence) on sensitive military
> software that it sounds like is already being shared amongst the
> legitimate players?
One interesting case is the case of derived works.

Let's suppose that the NSA wants to make some Secret additions to the
Linux kernel.   They have some suppliers with clearance who can
prepare these changes.

Therefore, the suppliers create the derived work and now NSA has
a GPLed result.   Without needing any kind of special executive authority
or special act of contract, the executive has the right to use the program
freely, study the source, and modify it.

If next year, the executive decides "this needs to be made public", the NSA
has the right to publicly distribute the code even with the vendor