Google opens-up Ratproxy code

Company is showing an increasing affection for open source. If only Viacom would have asked for source code nicely, instead of litigating for it.

Perhaps Viacom should have just asked nicely for Google's YouTube code.

This week, a federal judge denied Viacom's demand that Google turn over its YouTube source code, arguing that "YouTube and Google should not be made to place this vital asset in hazard merely to allay speculation."

Ironically, on that same day, Google freely open-sourced Ratproxy, a passive Web application security audit tool developed for Google's internal use and now made generally available.

Google's Michael Zalewski writes:

We decided to make this tool freely available as open source because we feel it will be a valuable contribution to the information security community, helping advance the community's understanding of security challenges associated with contemporary Web technologies. We believe that responsible security research brings a net overall benefit to the safety of the Web as a whole, and have released this tool explicitly to support that kind of research.

You just had to say "Pretty please," Viacom. Google has been increasingly open to open source . It just doesn't want to be sued into contributing its code.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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