Frustrated developer releases intell analysis software as open-source

App for analyzing competing hypotheses now allows for collaboration

Intelligence analysis software is about to go open source. Matthew Burton, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst and software developer, is working on an open-source version of a CIA software tool called “Analysis of Competing Hypotheses.”

The application is a software-based version of a process CIA analysts use to locate evidence. Speaking recently at the Military Open Source Software Working Group in Virginia, Burton noted that the current software version of the ACH tool is Java based and single-user, which does not permit collaboration.

Wired’s Danger Room blog reported that Burton developed a collaborative version of ACH. The program was designed to work with Analytic Space, an online workplace for intelligence analysts. However, the inability to access A-Space’s proprietary development specifications and licensing rights for ACH halted the project.

Frustrated by the lack of progress and issues relating to proprietary software, Burton is releasing the software under an open-source license. According to Wired, proponents of using open-source software in the Defense Department and federal government applaud this step, noting that defense software is rarely reused and difficult to adapt to new threats. Most of this software becomes the property of defense firms, which results in the government paying for the same solutions and software.

Despite complaints from open-source advocates, there is some prgress. Lockheed Martin recently released Eureka Source, an open-source social networking platform for use in secure government networks.

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