[Freegis-list] Protection vs. sharing (was: 52?North publishes first quality controlled stable release!)

Ian Turton ijturton at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 16:05:06 CET 2006

On 3/1/06, strk <strk at keybit.net> wrote:
> It is sad that "open" software developers are working on data "protection"
> rather then data "sharing". Many times, when there are not big
> "pushes" toward protecting things people inherit the policy that
> software developers put into their tools.
> Software tools do can change the relations amongst human beings.

I have to disagree here! There is no  inherent conflict between open source
code and digital rights management (DRM). If for example I'm working with
confidential data (like cancer or aids data) then I do  need to make it
protected data - its confidential and should stay that way but I need a way
for distributed analysts to be able to share that data in a secure way. I
could write my own security code and modify say GeoServer to implement my
scheme, but I'm not really good at security after all I'm a geographer. Then
my data leaks on to the internet - news at 11 open source software allows
major privacy breach! This sort of thing then sets back the uptake of open
source mapping code, even though I could have leaked the data faster using
proprietary code.

So I think there are definite advantages to providing good GeoDRM and
security code. I "know" all data wants to be free but to be honest I'd
rather my medical records stayed confidential but that my doctors had access
to high quality secure open source code to analyse them.



Ian Turton
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