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Old 01-23-2006, 06:57 AM   #1
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Open Source in U.S. embargoed countries

I am researching the use of Open Source technologies in U.S. embargoed countries. In particular, I work for a large global company with offices in a number of these countries and I must recommend and implement an infrastructure solution that is compliant with the U.S. sanctions. As far as Linux is concerned, I am somewhat confused as to which flavors comply with the sanctions and which don't. It is clear already that anything owned by a U.S. company is out of the question, but what other options do I have? Any research links, help, advice, etc... would be greatly appreciated.
Old 01-23-2006, 07:25 AM   #2
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If the product you use isn't produced in an embargoed country, and you don't sell or target a product to an embargoed country, then I think that you are OK. Of course, you will need to consult an attorney to be sure. I think that if the company selling the Linux Distro is based in a non-embargoed country, you are OK. If that were not the case, you couldn't trade with Great Britain or Canada, since they trade with Cuba, for example. Of equal importance is if the product contains encryption routines. You may not be able to export or import a product without approval. This is all just my opinion, as I'm not a trade expert.
Old 01-23-2006, 08:48 AM   #3
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I would strongly urge you to check with your corporate counsel on this matter. This is all very dependent on the exact terms of the embargo in question.
Old 01-23-2006, 12:33 PM   #4
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thanks jschiwal, but my question involves my using the software IN the embargoed country, not the other way around. In other words, what is acceptable to be used in a network in Syria?

Matir, I have already gone throught corporate counsel...they gave me some guidelines (<10% U.S. origin - manufacture, for example), but I have to analyze whether a particular piece of software or hardware meets these guidelines. Regarding Linux... Redhat and Suse are out of the question because of their relationship to american companies.

I suppose I am looking for alternatives to the "commercial" flavors, those that have less to do with a company and more to do with the open source community, which is still suitable for deployment in sites with >200 users, and which has enough "support" to keep me from losing my job.

Also, any online research anyone knows about concerning the embargo (against Syria, Iran, etc...) and how this affects the open-source community would be very helpful.

Old 01-24-2006, 11:12 AM   #5
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Mandriva (based in France - and with a major presence in South America) provides corporate support. They might be worth looking into.


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