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Open source invites terrorism – study

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A Washington think tank calling itself the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution is preparing to release a 'study' warning that the widespread use of open source software will allow international terrorists to have their way with us.

"Terrorists trying to hack or disrupt U.S. computer networks might find it easier if the federal government attempts to switch to 'open source' as some groups propose," the group warned in a press release.

We imagine the argument will have to go something like this: Microsoft software is safer because the company carefully conceals its security flaws; thus evil terrorists will never find them on their own. But with open source products, the Evil Doers will be able to audit the source code and find novel weaknesses they can exploit to bring Christendom to its knees.

We say that because we know they can't possibly try to argue that MS offers inherently more secure products. Although they might; as our friend Richard M. Smith points out, the Institution takes money from Redmond.

This could explain why a group purportedly devoted to the 'perfection of democracy' would, with a straight face, recommend the MCSE as a qualification for adult participation in a democratic economy superior to a university degree.

"Effective participation in the American political economy has always been substantially dependent upon an education that goes beyond basic verbal and mathematical skills," the author of this 'study' intones.

And quite right he is; only we rather suspect, like most adults, that a liberal education is the answer to that problem, not an advanced course in rectifying BSODs.

Nevertheless the author cheerfully reports that "87 per cent of Human Resource managers surveyed believed that MCSE's are equally or more successful than college graduates."

We look forward to learning how MS software and its associated usurious licensing schemes will protect us from terrorism. The 'study' is to be released next week. ®

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