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September 22nd, 2016

John Weathersby: Selling Open Source to the Federal Government

It’s a no-brainer to us that free and open source should be the default for governments, because governments should be…well, open. With the Open Technology Center, John Weathersby is working to help bring open source to national defense and security.

The Video FOSS Force Interview

John Weathersby founded and ran the Open Source Software Institute to “promote the development and implementation of open source software solutions within U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies.” A worthy goal!

But why stick to nothing but software? In 2014, Weathersby founded The Open Technology Center at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (in Mississippi), which is a “non-profit research and development entity sponsored by the Mississippi National Guard and U.S. Department of Homeland Security whose mission is to innovate and integrate open source software technologies for use within national defense and security organizations.”

The OTC is doing some neat stuff, ranging from autonomous vehicles to making it easier for local governments to request, receive, and account for disaster recovery funds in the wake of an emergency. It’s all good! And it’s all about open source, which is why it’s worth listening to what Weathersby has to say.

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Robin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin "Roblimo" Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he's mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

2 comments to John Weathersby: Selling Open Source to the Federal Government

  • xyz

    Very interesting point of view from “selling” OSS software to big entities

  • Eddie G.

    As long as the governments that use open source don’t try to “regulate” it, then all should be well. For we’ve seen what happens when something good gets into government hands, by the time you get past all the red tape and rules and regulations, it’s a total disaster. I love open source and I’m all for getting it into every corner of the world, but not at the expense of losing the “open-ness” of it. Lets just hope this doesn’t go sideways…LoL!