Numerous export controls from the Commerce and Treasury departments have recently cast a shadow over the software industry, proving that while the internet may know no borders, the U.S. government does. Luckily for them, Mozilla has managed to secure a critical exemption that could have a broad impact on the open source movement.
Mozilla General Counsel Harvey Anderson explained that there are export and sanction rules prohibiting the export and sharing of certain technologies. Vendors working with normal software containing encryption are required by law to file for a license exception, but that regulation offers an exemption to open source vendors like Mozilla.
But that exemption will be nullified if source code is distributed to any of the countries on the U.S embargo list, such as Cuba, Iran or North Korea. Mozilla recently discovered it supports a substantial amount of downloads to Iran. After that, Mozilla decided to make a voluntary disclosure to federal authorities in the hopes of securing a no-violation letter.
Anderson said that the no-violation letter, affirming that Mozilla’s disclosures are permitted under U.S. rules, is a win for both the firm and the larger open source movement. Courtesy of internetnews.com