Bill in Congress Targets NSA's Accumulo Open Source Project

Kathleen Hickey | Government Computer News | July 20, 2012
A new bill on Capitol Hill could have far reaching implications for government use and development of open source platforms – potentially requiring all open source projects to “prove adequate industry support and diversification.”

S. 3254, the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, would bar the Department of Defense from using the National Security Agency’s Accumulo open source software platform after September 30, 2013, unless the DOD’s CIO can demonstrate either the software’s industry success and uniqueness or that there are no viable commercial open source alternatives, according to a report from Wired.

Further, the bill requires NSA to support and provide technical assistance to developers of the Apache Foundation’s HBase and Cassandra open source platforms -- as well as and similar platforms -- so that they can integrate the security features of Accumulo. NSA's Accumulo is a more secure version of Google’s BigTable, the foundation of many of Google’s online services and runs across tens of thousands of computer services. It is one of many open source systems that seeks to mimic Google’s infrastructure – including HBase and Cassandra...