Open source

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Concept.png Open source 
Interest of• Nikolai Bezroukov
• Lawrence Lessig
• Roy Schestowitz
• Softpanorama
Publicly verifiable software. Recommended.

Open source software is distributed with the source code, allowing computer scientists to verify its integrity and potentially to fix it themselves. Closed source, by contrast, cannot be verified by end users, and so is effectively impossible to change and may contain computer viruses, trojan horses or other such malware.


Originally, software coders and users were the same tiny set of academics, so all software was open source by default. Richard Stallman played a major role in the development of the open source movement and started the GNU project, which lead on to GNU/Linux in the 1990s.[1]

"Open source research"

The phrase "open source" has acquired enough popularity to be used in other contexts. A 2018 document leaked from the Integrity Initiative, Unleashing the Capacity of Civil Society to Counter Disinformation. makes ten mentions of the phrase "open source", particularly with regard to "open source research". This seems to apply only to information which is "public facing" (a phrase that receives seven mentions), not the origins of that information. The 8 page "Appendix C: Information Sharing Framework" is not about sharing information sources with the public - it details the group's obsessive secrecy, including use of AI to detect and flag up unusual behaviour by its staff.