CNS Feature Stories

Special articles and reports on timely nonproliferation issues by CNS staff.
Updated: Jan 31, 2013

To Boldly Go: Harnessing Open Source Technologies for International Arms Control

Social networks, phone apps, crowdsourcing, and geospatial databases can enhance international arms control and nonproliferation efforts.
Author(s): CNS Staff

Posted: December 6, 2012

Essay Contest Submission Deadline Extended

The entry deadline for the 2012-13 International Arms Control Essay Contest has been extended. Entries will now be accepted until 23:00 GMT (18:00 EST) Wednesday February 20, 2013.

For complete contest information, please visit

On December 3, 2012, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)— in partnership with the US Department of State's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, and the Moscow-based Center for Policy Studies (PIR)—launched the 2012-13 International Arms Control Essay Contest: Innovation Through Open Source Technologies.

The contest aims to harness the ingenuity of American and Russian citizens to think creatively about innovative ways to use open source information and communication technologies (ICTs) for arms control verification, compliance monitoring, and monitoring of sensitive facilities.

"In order to pursue the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons, we are going to have to think bigger and bolder."
—Rose Gottemoeller

Creative ideas for relevant uses of ICTs like social networks, smart phone apps, crowdsourcing platforms, and geospatial databases can help enhance and expand US-Russia arms control and nonproliferation efforts, as well as contribute to verification-requiring elements of a future nuclear weapon-free world. Rose Gottemoeller, the US under secretary for arms control and international security whose interest in and admiration for open source ICTs spurred the creation of this contest, declared earlier this year that, "In order to pursue the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons, we are going to have to think bigger and bolder." She also cited President Barack Obama who, at a university in Seoul, South Korea, this past March, called on the younger, more tech-savvy generation, saying that in them:

"I see the spirit we need in this endeavor—an optimism that beats in the hearts of so many young people around the world. Its that refusal to accept the world as it is, the imagination to see the world as it ought to be, and the courage to turn that vision into reality."

We look forward to working with our partners at State and in Moscow to help transform the imaginative ideas of our citizens into tomorrow's reality.

Learn More

Learn more about the rules and submission guidelines.

Return to Top