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NSA joins GitHub, Shares Code for Cyber Tool

Gil C/Shutterstock.com

The National Security Agency is sharing the code for a network security monitoring system on GitHub. 

The agency is publishing the source code for its Systems Integrity Management Platform, which lets administrators make sure server clusters are compliant with security standards, so that other organizations can build similar systems, NSA announced on Thursday. 

GitHub could expedite the transfer of technology between the public and private sectors,  Linda Burger, director of NSA's Technology Transfer Program, told Nextgov. And since the code is now public, outside developers can also examine and refine the code, potentially making it stronger, she added.

NSA has been using GitHub since December 2013, when its Information Assurance Directorate started publishing policy and guidance, Burger said. The agency created its corporate GitHub account earlier this year, Burger said, and SIMP is among the first projects to be uploaded as part of the tech transfer program.

Though the agency has conducted a few disparate open source software releases internally, "our senior management has realized that open source software releases [are] kind of the direction of the future," she said.

Repositories such as GitHub, she said, serve as one location where NSA developers across divisions can share their code with the public. "There's kind of different cultures. Different organizations within the NSA operate with different managers. [GitHub] provides this common venue." 

Though she declined to share more details about them, Burger said NSA has plans to upload source code for several other projects soon. 

(Image via Gil C/ Shutterstock.com)

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