Re: Conflict of interest and anti-trust
Open Source prevents this conflict because anybody can access the code, detect bugs, and fix them. There is no monopoly of support provision.
Sure they can. How much does it cost?
Suppose NHS was on Linux and had a support team for that. Would they have found and patched Heartbleed or Shellshock before it went public?
Does NHS have more resources than NSA in hiring IT? Suppose you wanted to find vulnerabilities. One outfit wants to patch them, the other wants to weaponize them.
Do you think any public or commercial entity would be faster than NSA in finding vulnerabilities?
Once a vulnerability found by NSA is leaked, an exploit will always come faster and be cheaper to write than a patch.
The patch needs more careful programming and has to be tested, while you don't really care if your ransomware only encrypts data on 25% of computers, but wrecks and bricks the remaining 75% with no hope of recovery.
You cannot hope that any independent outfit is going to be better than NSA at looking for vulnerabilities and faster at patching them than NSA at exploiting them.
The sole fact that NSA are actually looking for vulnerabilities and weaponizing them means that it's worthwhile for them.
If you're imagining that going to supported open source would have no trade-offs whatsoever, and would be cheaper, faster and better, you're completely off your rocker.