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If you are using open source technologies, rank or reputation of your digital assets will be low on proprietary platforms, and vice-versa. For example, search results of an open source CMS website hosted on Linux or Unix are segregated and deliberately downgraded by Microsoft, Apple, etc. Once you understand competition & suppression strategies, rules of the game rings well. As closed nations like China use Hardened BSD Unix and Linux extensively, there are worries in Western govt corridors of its pulling ahead in information warfare preparedness, checks and balances for profit are acceptable plans now-a-days. Targets are countries, individuals and groups developing secure operating softwares for their devices and installing it on private, government and military systems, hoping to make networks impenetrable to other spies, military and intelligence agencies.

Non-west allies are developing custom, security hardened OSes. As the specter of cyber crimes, gateway hacks, leaks and espionage grows more vivid, policy makers and security specialists are concerned at the fact that some countries are taking such direct action to protect themselves from potential foreign information warfare threats; this may set others at a disadvantage? So, who will be the hero in these tech tales reaching open skies? Few national heroes or the plague, set off by bacteria released from warming ice sheets? The sulfur rising from the ocean, smothering out the oxygen? The catastrophic lack of habitation, once a dying star hugs us? Gateway or digital security ∝ character of persons or firms managing them; keep aside tech jargons viz digital payments, on-line brand promos, Internet legislation to usher monopolies, e-commerce, cashless, bla bla.

China installs secure operating systems on all military PCs, design of the OS is proprietary on its official website – hardened versions of Linux / BSD. This has lead to concern over the state of open source development in China. Furthermore systems which use off-the-shelf fancy software for critical devices and gadgets, are often less secure and more vulnerable to back doors allowing access during times of military or clod economic warfare. But again, why governments risk overheads, steep learning curve and accountability by acquiring ideal resources in-house, outsourcing jobs to their own private corporatist proxies is more profitable and commission yielding, heck with citizens long term security.

The harsh truth is that corporate influence and corruption in governments has succeeded in retarding the progress of information technology advancement by weighing down decision making processes with political favoritism and commission earning from vendors. Meanwhile, the undemocratic fact that Chinese government officials are not beholden to lobbying by powerful corruption-led corporations frees them from the kind of untoward influence that has resulted in software acquisition contracts motivated more by cut for desi babus than by security or real technology concerns. Though the apparent downside in such non-democratic societies is institutional opaqueness.

The result is that China appears to be well ahead of the curve, selecting the best OS and other systems for the job regardless of brand hypes via paid media or vendor’s ministerial connections or wealth rating! All too often, the tender selection process in so-called open governments and large corporations mostly excludes all better options except a very few favorable vendors or just adds other reject-able odd vendors for record. Bluntly put, the leaders informal cozy meetings decide who is to get the IT contract, all formalities are just official open tendering stealth.

When your citizens can possibly be target of many information attacks carrying those hot gadgets, and you discover that governments are engaged in working toward military deployment of security hardened BSD & Linux while vulnerable countries like India are universally using off-the-shelf Microsoft and other fancy or easy to use “clicky curvy touchy systems” simply meant to deceive novice Internet users and sell brands or political agendas, it becomes clear that there’s definitely something wrong with information policy in most of these softer nations where security and privacy are sold-out to invincible private lobbyists and corporatism for bucks. Surely some #ChorBhakts are developing at the cost of millions of expendables and small honest players. Add to that, the markets are full of devices made in china cocktailed with branded fancy apps injected by desi cronies, what a mess!

One thought on “Operating System for national security – BSD Unix / Linux or The Fancy?”

  1. A Chandrayan2 milestone of ISRO thanks to its decades of research. Do not let few trader bhakts drumming proud PR stunts & branding mockery to hijack dedication of India’s finest scientific achievements in space & cosmology.

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