Policy Challenges for a Critical Digital Ecosystem

Open source software is ubiquitous, underlying almost all of the digital ecosystem while enabling massive innovation and functionality. For policymakers, the OSS ecosystem presents unique challenges due to its divergence from more familiar vendor-buyer models. Supportive OSS policy and engagement, while sorely needed, require careful consideration to preserve the OSS world’s cirtical functioning.


The Open Source Policy Network

The Open-Source Policy Network (OSPN) is a collection of open-source software (OSS) developers, maintainers, and stakeholders convened by the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative to develop a community-led strategy and policy recommendations to improve the security and sustainability of OSS. The OSPN strives to natively integrate both policymakers and OSS practitioners in developing policy and shaping both public and private sector action toward the OSS ecosystem. The Council’s wider research on cybersecurity issues complements Network members and their collaboration to drive lasting and impactful change across OSS and the security of all digital systems.

The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, under the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), works at the nexus of geopolitics and cybersecurity to craft strategies to help shape the conduct of statecraft and to better inform and secure users of technology.

Open Source Software

Wed, May 1, 2024

The 5×5—The XZ Backdoor: Trust and Open Source Software

Open source software security experts share their insights into the XZ backdoor, and what it means for open source software security.

by Nitansha Bansal, Stewart Scott

Cybersecurity Open Source Software

Thu, Apr 18, 2024

O$$ Security: Does More Money for Open Source Software Mean Better Security? A Proof of Concept

A proof-of-concept study looking for correlation between open source software project funding and security practices at scale.

by Sara Ann Brackett, John Speed Meyers, Stewart Scott

Cybersecurity Open Source Software

Thu, Oct 12, 2023

Driving Software Recalls: Manufacturing Supply Chain Best Practices for Open Source Consumption

Product recalls require practices that can help software vendors move toward better component selection and tracking and better relationships with customers, all while making software vendors responsible for OSS security instead of maintainers.

by Jeff Wayman, Brian Fox

Cybersecurity Open Source Software