CSIS Government Policies for Open Source Software:

CSIS Government Policies for Open Source Software:

Published on: 23/01/2023

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) organised an event on 10 January to present their recently published dataset on government policies for Open Source Software. The dataset covers a wide range of regulations from all over the world, and is the update of the 2010 version of the previous CSIS dataset. The scope of this update is limited to national policies and doesn’t encompass regional or local policies on Open Source.

During their event, the lead author of the report, Eugenia Lostri, presented the dataset’s findings. Analysing the content of 669 policies through diverse lenses, the report is giving a broad overview of the evolution and increase of regulation on Open Source since 2010. They explain that this increase in policy is due to the topic of cybersecurity, where open source is attracting interest for its potential and what would be needed to make full use of it. And although there is a clear surge in interest in open source, this research also shows that this interest has been observed in policy since the nineties. 

Ms  Lostri also explains how, together with the two other main authors of the report, Georgia Wood and Meghan Jain, they analysed these policies through their different goals. They identified six stated objectives: 

  • Cost
  • Sovereignty
  • Support for National Industry
  • Modernisation
  • Transparency
  • Security

These six goals can be well understood in the current context, including the economical and geopolitical considerations, of Open Source. While the digitalisation of governments is accelerating, technology is required so that these goals can be fulfilled.

During the panel discussion, Ms Lostri also pointed out that while many policy and policy recommendations have been issued in the past years, there is a need for an impact assessment of these policies. As most of these regulations’ effects are soon to be seen, it will become easier for governments and public administrations to justify their use of them. 

You can find the complete dataset here.