The Challenges and Opportunities of Transparency

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This talk will present some of the great opportunities and the corresponding challenges to working with a government agency on an open source project. Transparency conceptually offers powerful opportunities to increase accuracy, provide better verification and audit, and improve security of IT systems and services for public benefit. At the same time, transparency exercises, such as public code examination, review, and test can distort the realities of testing and debugging and place an undue burden of fault (in)tolerance on the project. We recently witnessed this during a public evaluation of a voting systems pilot in the District of Columbia. Still licking his wounds, the OSDV Foundation co-executive director will discuss lessons learned, and advice for ensuring a transparency mandate without accidentally deputizing a lynch mob.