info Midterm - Soc Midterm 1. Currently, the United States...

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Soc Midterm 1. Currently, the United States government information technology infrastructure uses proprietary software. The main characteristic of proprietary software is that it is exclusive to its owners, the government in this case, and it can only be seen and used by the government as well. Finally, the government is entitled to the full rights of the software. Open source software, on the contrary, is completely transparent. If the government had open source software, internet users would be able to see what is taking place inside the government’s Internet system and be able to view the coding and information being exchanged. Through extensive research on the differences between open source and proprietary software, a better understanding of the correct system for the government has been decided. However first, the benefits and disadvantages of each software type shall be explained. It is worth noting that there is not simply one type of open source software. Open source software includes licenses that developers usually charge for, and often, open source software will require login information (think C-Tools) in order to access the site. A key benefit to the government adopting the open source software is that if everyone were able to view the information, problems and inefficiencies would be spotted nearly instantly, and could be rectified without disturbance. Furthermore, citizens would feel safer and more secure if they were ale to look behind the “closed doors” of the government. Whether or not they actually checked the government site, having the freedom to would make people feel as though they could, at any time, see what was going on in their government system. Finally, the government would not have to allocate billions of dollars developing and deploying secure software, since open source software is either free or significantly less expensive than proprietary software would be. However, open source software comes with many disadvantages as well. If the government used completely open source software (which they would never do), people could login and modify/delete/add unwanted or unnecessary changes, ultimately reeking havoc on the government IT infrastructure. Additionally, even with password-protected information, the “wrong people” could get a hold of this information, and use it detrimentally against us. Open source software is also more susceptible to viruses from hackers, making it less reliable to its users. And although it takes less money to create, the upkeep of open source software can be pricey because it is very labor intensive to maintain. With the Internet being such a relatively new invention, it is ignorant to believe that our knowledge of it is conclusive enough to create an open source software infrastructure for the United States government that would be impermeable to hackers, terrorists and viruses. Even without the threat of intentional misuse, open source software would encourage too many uninformed opinions from citizens without going through the proper
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info Midterm - Soc Midterm 1. Currently, the United States...

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