Open source technologies and their contributions to computing and especially the internet, have been taken for granted for a long time – too long.
Consider the OpenSSL Software Foundation. Its expertise in cryptography has long provided the internet’s foundation for safe online transactions, allowing us to buy airline tickets or check online balances securely and with ease. Yet while the OpenSSL code may be freely available, the foundation needs developers, tools, QA and oversight to produce the best code – and that carries a cost, just as it does for the rest of us.
“These guys don’t work on OpenSSL for money,” said Steve Marquess, founder of the OpenSSL Software Foundation, whose eloquent statement of the underfunding of the open source movement struck a raw nerve among the technorati. “They don’t do it for fame (who outside of geek circles ever heard of them or OpenSSL until “heartbleed” hit the news?). They do it out of pride in craftsmanship and the responsibility for something they believe in.”
GlobalSign believes in the Open Source community too. Such vast collaborative efforts have the structure and ethos to leverage massive IQ of its formidable user base against appropriate challenges, and achieve results that most commercial organizations simply cannot. Simply stated, the world gets better, more transparent software at lower cost. We all benefit.
GlobalSign is grateful to the OpenSSL Software Foundation and its leaders, Steve Marquess and Steve Henson, for acknowledging our financial contribution to the group. “With this donation from Globalsign we have the first donation from a CA. I hope their example is followed by other companies who have leveraged OpenSSL as a central component of their business.”
We contributed not for glorification, but because as Steve emphasized, it’s time the commercial vendors and the government start putting their money where their businesses’ benefit.
We thank Steve and the foundation for their contributions to secure internet transactions, and look forward to working more closely with them. We encourage others to join GlobalSign in supporting The OpenSSL Software Foundation.