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GSA Announces Source Release of Software Developed for ACES Program


GSA # 9884

October 3, 2001
Contact: Deborah K. Ruiz, (202) 501-1231
deborah.ruiz@gsa.gov


WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration today announced the "open source" public release of Certificate Arbitrator Module (CAM) software in a move aimed at making further improvements under the agency's Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES) Program.

Part of GSA's Federal Technology Service, ACES is an innovative program which contracts with multiple, private sector, infrastructure service providers to deliver Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital signature services to federal users. The CAM software is what allows federal agencies and the public to work easily with multiple ACES service providers.

"The ACES digital signature product was designed to make it easy for the public and commercial sectors to securely conduct business with the government electronically," said Sallie McDonald, Assistant Commissioner for GSA's Office of Information Assurance and Critical Infrastructure Protection. "Open sourcing the CAM software is another step in making electronic government accessible to all."

"By allowing the CAM software to be freely accessed by all interested parties, we believe that the product will be improved and enhanced, as other software products in the public domain have been," said Robert E. Suda, Assistant Commissioner for GSA's Office of Information Solutions.

The CAM software routes, replies to, and basically manages PKI validation requests between user applications and appropriate certificate authorities. The open sourcing of the CAM software will allow interested parties, such as ACES service providers, federal government users, and other commercial service providers to modify the CAM software to reflect additional requirements, standards, protocols, or functions which can later be introduced in the next generation of software. The Open Source CAM Software is available at http://cam.fts.gsa.gov and http://cam.mitretek.org.

Specifically developed by Mitretek Systems for use with the ACES program, CAM was further developed to support both ACES and non-ACES certificate authorities. Mitretek is a private sector, non-profit scientific and systems engineering company headquartered in McLean, Va.

Mitretek will serve as the CAM Open Source Manager and will be responsible for the distribution and maintenance of the code, as well as the testing and review of modified code proposed by third parties. GSA and Mitretek will jointly serve as the CAM Open Source Review Organization, responsible for agreeing to new versions of the CAM code, as proposed by the CAM Open Source Manager, and ensuring the continued utility of the CAM code.

GSA is a centralized federal procurement and property management agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. GSA, comprised of 14,000 associates, provides services and solutions for the office operations of more than 1 million federal workers located in 8,300 government -owned and leased buildings in 1,600 U.S. communities.