This is great news for open-source advocates and in a small but meaningful way, for the U.S. government and citizens. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a United States government federal agency, announced that it uses open-source software and will contribute its source code back to the community. You really don’t get much better than that when it comes to government accountability and contribution in this digital age.
From the CFPB website:
Until recently, the federal government was hesitant to adopt open-source software due to a perceived ambiguity around its legal status as a commercial good. In 2009, however, the Department of Defense made it clear that open-source software products are on equal footing with their proprietary counterparts.
We agree, and the first section of our source code policy is unequivocal: We use open-source software, and we do so because it helps us fulfill our mission. [Emphasis Original]
The post also gives a good basic explanation of what source code is, what open-source means, and why it matters. This is definitely a good read. You can find the full post here: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/the-cfpbs-source-code-policy-open-and-shared/