SourceForge Simi Unblocks Syria, Sudan,Iran, N.Korea & Cuba- Freedom Loving Admins: Unblock Now
We waited for few days and nobody wrote about it, so we moved on and broke the news with a guest post from Abdulrahman Idlbi as we were upset when SourceForge the world’s largest open source software hosting website, blocked around 171 million people from Syria, Sudan, Iran, N. Korea & Cuba: from downloading open source software, a complete breach to the open source definition section 5 and 6:
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
And a direct contradiction to Hillary Clinton’s Internet freedom speech that cited China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt among countries that censored the Internet or harassed bloggers!
3 days after the blockade news, which caused massive out rage all over the web such as this, sourceforge issued an announcement saying that they are not happy, but they have to comply with U.S. laws or they will face possible penalties including fines and imprisonment.
However, Today SourceForge made a forward step ahead, instead of blocking all software downloads to innocent people of these countries now project admins can unblock them, if they ” conclude that your project is *not* subject to export regulations, or any other related prohibitions,” according to SF announcement.
This is a great move by SF, however the sad part about it that the blocking is enforced by default to all projects! which is not really a solution. as Khaled al-Horani a web developer from Syria told ArabCrunch:
‘I am a web developer, I opensource tools daily, and most of these tools are hosted on SF. Today, I wanted to prepare a new server with some tools like PHPMyAdmin and I couldn’t download it because it’s hosted on Sourcefoge. Many important application for web developers and programs and even for normal people, are also hosted on SF which I can’t download and use it now for my work. All projects’ download pages now take you to a white page instead of the old page which told you that you are prohibited to download from SF. Actually I don’t trust SF anymore! do they telling us lies? like “Some good news: SourceForge removes blanket blocking”. I think this step will affect the picture of Opensource in people mind’s for long time.”
ArabCrunch has emailed SF to clarify its stance of why not whitelisting all projects by default, As how would project admins will know about this feature?! unless they follow SF blog everyday!
We will also email google to know if they will put less restriction to the 170 million blocked people at Code.Google.com
For now, if you are a project admin on SourceForge who believes in free open-source, its principles and in the freedom of people to innovate without discrimination, please go to:
Develop -> Project Admin -> Project Settings to find a new section called Export Control. and change the export setting. After that, all users will be able to download your project files as they did before SF last blockhead.