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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Science and Technology
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Cube Jockey
I read a very interesting article today on wired.com titled "Slow Going for Linux in Iraq".

The main point that the article makes is that now that Iraq is destined to be a free nation embracing capitalism, there will be a clamoring demand from the populace for computer technology and infrastructure. Since Iraq is basically a clean slate right now as far as that goes, the country is ripe to adopt open source technologies such as Linux which are for all intents and purposes free.

QUOTE
During two seminars at Baghdad University, the Iraqi LUG handed out 200 CDs loaded with Mandrake Linux. "Even those Windows server guys were convinced with the idea of installing Linux instead of Windows," Nawfal said. "They were so rigid at first, but now they are leaning toward Linux."

Nawfal said he also saw a spike in interest after acquaintances started going online and subsequently found themselves needing protection from Windows-specific viruses. An immunity to many of the viruses and other exploits circulating the Internet has long been one of Linux's selling points.

"Because of Windows Trojans and viruses, more friends asked me to give them Linux installation CDs," said Nawfal. "They want to use it for safe browsing."

QUOTE
"We are aiming at putting Linux on every server in Iraq," he said. "As a start, we are beginning with Baghdad University, and we think that the (Iraqi) ministries are the next target."


Is a clean slate situation like Iraq where people are hungry for technology just the thing the open source movement needs to take off?

Is embracing open source technology in Iraq's best interests? Why or why not?

Are the concerns voiced by the US Department of Commerce legitimate or is this simply corporate protectionism? Why or why not?
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