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Government Open Source

US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Embraces FOSS, Publishes On Github 38

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-tax-dollars-actually-at-work dept.
New submitter gchaix writes "The U.S. Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has publicly embraced open source software and has begun posting its code to GitHub. From the article: '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. Open-source software works because it enables people from around the world to share their contributions with each other. The CFPB has benefited tremendously from other people's efforts, so it's only right that we give back to the community by sharing our work with others.'"
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US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Embraces FOSS, Publishes On Github

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:17PM (#39636127)

    It's a trap!

  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:19PM (#39636143)
    "Proud to be an American..."
    • "Proud to be an American..."

      Been a while for me, too. I mean, I'm not tearing-up or anything, but it's something.

  • Whether private or government...when putting the right people in the right place....the thing can
    be made to work with logic and sense.

  • by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:30PM (#39636253)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is kinda of a joke. Congress created the agency after the wall street crash but put in a provision that the agency could not act untill congress approved the chief of the Bureau. They then proceeded to block appointments to the agency. Thus the agency was in limbo till Jan of this year. Obama appointed someone to head the agency with a potentially illegal recess appointment.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:37PM (#39636323)

      Democrats created the agency after the wall street crash but put Republicans in a provision that the agency could not act untill congress approved the chief of the Bureau. Republicans proceeded to block appointments to the agency. Thus the agency was in limbo till Jan of this year. Obama appointed someone to head the agency with a legal recess appointment.

      Few typos you had there.

      • It was potentially illegal because Congress was not offically in recess. Republicans have gone out of the way to keep congress out of recess for the the last 3 years using procedural stunts.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Recess appointments themselves are a procedural stunt. The proper way to have a nominee approved by the Senate (which at the moment is controlled by Democrats, by the way) is to nominate them while the Senate is IN SESSION and then have the Senate debate the whether the nominee would be good for the job.

          • Ahh but try that and a single Senator can use a stunt called a filibuster. In this stunt the Senator debates the bill forever preventing the bill from being voting on. You need 2/3 majority to tell a Senator to shut up and vote. So acts that only require a simple majority according to the constitution to win get promoted to super majority tests.
            • Not to be pedantic, but cloture (otherwise known as the act of limiting debate on a piece of legislation and forcing a vote) requires a 3/5ths majority, not a 2/3 majority. Thus 60 votes (barring any vacant seats in the Senate) rather than 67.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloture [wikipedia.org]
            • Filibusters are great because most laws are awful. The more deadlocked that Congress gets the better it is for the rest of us.

          • by shaitand (626655)

            That is great in a world where the senate does its job and approves any candidate who is not obviously unqualified that the Presidents appoints to a position.

            Here in the real world the senate twists it's token approval authority to hijack the appointment process and deny perfectly qualified candidates. Or in this case to not only deny candidates but castrate an entire government agency.

        • The senate never going into recess started with Harry Reid under the Bush White House.

        • by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle.hotmail@com> on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @04:28PM (#39636909) Homepage

          It was potentially illegal because Congress was not offically in recess. Republicans have gone out of the way to keep congress out of recess for the the last 3 years using procedural stunts.

          What's interesting about that is that, although the Senate was engaging in a charade of a "session," Obama didn't actually have to wait for them to "adjourn." Article 3 gives the executive the power to declare congress in recess in situations where the houses are divided regarding going into recess--as they were at the time.

          Why didn't he use it? It's spelled out in the constitution--not even an amendment, it's part of the original text--so what gives? Why not just issue an executive order that says "Pursuant to Article 3 powers of the executive, with both houses of congress in disagreement over whether to adjourn, I hereby declare them to be in recess until xyz date."

          It wouldn't have been any kind of power-grab... It is the most constitutional thing he could have done, and would have been absolutely air-tight. He'd have out-manuevered the GOP, gotten his nominees appointed, and been able to move on. Instead, he gave his political enemies more ammunition to attack him with. Surely he has to have figured out they're going to be pissed and sue, no matter what he does, and that the Supreme Court fix is in, so he's got to conduct himself in a manner that is just absolutely constitutionally unquestionably allowed.

        • It was potentially illegal because Congress was not offically in recess. Republicans have gone out of the way to keep congress out of recess for the the last 3 years using procedural stunts.

          It's a nasty hack to keep congress it in recess and it's just a bad a hack to abuse the recess for passing law without a proper mandate.

          It seems like you Americans doesn't care about the democratic process as much as you care about getting whatever you think is right.

    • But with respect to TFA, so what?
      • Well I can't imagine they have much code to open source. Future prospects for code is not good either. The agency may not exist in 5 years.
        • by Tsingi (870990)
          With the level of intelligence we have seen from them, I doubt their code would be acceptable.
    • It was not illegal at all. The Republicans were entering sham sessions into the record while most of Congress was home over the recess. They basically walked in, hit the gavel, hit the gavel again, and left. Congress could not have voted on appointments at the time at all.
  • by dwheeler (321049) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:34PM (#39636307) Homepage Journal

    This is excellent news!

    In some ways this policy (of the US Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) picks up from the the US Department of Defense (DoD) policies. Unfortunately, the DoD just changed the URLs for some of its information on Open Source Software (OSS), and doesn't (yet) have redirects, making them hard to find and compare. So here are new links to the DoD stuff on open source software, if you want them.

    A good place to start is the Department of Defense (DoD) Free Open Source Software (FOSS) Community of Interest page, hosted by the DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) [defense.gov].

    From that page, you can reach:

    If you are interested in the topic of DoD and OSS, you might also be interested in the Military Open Source Software (Mil-OSS) [mil-oss.org] group.

    • by Tsingi (870990)
      I'm not American, but I've dealt with the American military on mapping data. They have a good attitude about sharing IP when it isn't classified.
  • by interval1066 (668936) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:58PM (#39636593) Homepage Journal
    WTG CFPB!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A pipe dream of mine is to have the various bills that go through the House and the Senate hosted on git, and open to patches and even forks before having a finalized version voted on in the executive branch, to bring a "we the people" element to the table in a way that would have been previously impossible. Legalese is just another programming language as far as git is concerned...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    First, don't expect a sea change in federal IT procurement. Just this year, I took a mandatory IT security training which repeatedly emphasized how (F)OSS is just a scam and we should never ever use it. The turnaround time for implementing (F)OSS in the federal government will be long. At least as long as it takes IT to stop refusing to install software unless you can provide a receipt for it...

    Second, DoD is a tidal force in the government. They developed almost all the procurement systems in use today

  • do you really think the multi billion dollar cluster fuck of govt servicing IT corporations and corrupt, bribed (campaign contributed) politicians is going to allow this to go on for much longer?

    just wait a few months, the people at CFPB responsible for this will be accused of leaking classified info, raping a dog, or fucking a popsicle in a public place. don't expect the system to lie down and take this.

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