"Every Free and/or Open Source Software based/located/maintained/served/related to the USA and its companions IS NOT a Free Software, since there’s no freedom of use, access and study, at-least for 80 Millions of individuals."

ahmadhaghighi.com/blog/2021/us

If you host any #freesoftware in the USA, please consider moving your code outside USA.

@praveen They are talking about projects and services run by some US corporations, not gnu.org. Useful for dramatic effect, if a little disingenuous.

Surely US law punishes Iranian people unfairly and unnecessarily. But like they've stated, that is not something free software projects or people can control directly.

They must also know what they can do: use free software (Tor, I2P,...) that is created for circumventing these barriers. Not ideal, but free software solutions do exist.

@sajith
There's also the myth that free software license grants enough freedoms on its own.

Free software Iicense is worth very little without the ability to meaningfully participate in a free software project, as this post shows. After all, free software is about communal ownership. If a person is ostracized from the community, they can't meaningfully say that the communal ownership benefits them.

@praveen

@akshay
That is not entirely true. People who don't actively control also benefits from other people having the freedom to control. For example Fahad Al Zaidi adding Arabic support in Scribus directly benefited every Indian language user as well.

Though ideal is being able to fully control. And in this case people who don't want to exclude Iranian contributors should move out of US hosting providers.
@popolon
@sajith

@akshay @popolon @sajith
And we have track record of moving servers outside US in the past. See wiki.debian.org/non-US for the history of Debian serving crypto software from The Netherlands.

@praveen @akshay @popolon Strictly speaking about projects listed in the blog post, they are all controlled by US corporations. What incentive they have to move their stuff? (They are fluid with their tax jurisdiction, but that is a digression.)

I would not look for "community" in corporate-controlled projects, given the asymmetric power relation. I suppose that depends on your definition of community. Fedora comes close, and might have a reason to move, if RH's lawyers approve the move.

@praveen @akshay @popolon The trend all over the world has been governments grabbing more power and more centralization, and technology has been enabling that. By moving outside the US, projects might be trading one set of problems with a new set of problems.

A technical strategy that makes location irrelevant might work too, like geographic distribution or not revealing your real location or p2p.

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@praveen @akshay @popolon Also, as problematic as the US can be, they can also be a part of the solution. Let us not completely and permanently give up on that.

Back in the days of Crypto Wars, Phil Zimmerman printed and shipped PGP source code to circumvent export restrictions. Eventually governments saw the light. I believe that was a case of successful activism. Things like that can happen again.

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