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The qaul.net community mailing list is meant for people asking questions, showing off their networking applications using libqaul and submitting patches via e-mail to the project.

Note: For all security related or sensitive inqueries, please contact the maintainers directly via contact@qaul.net

1

US sanctions on qaul infrastructure

Alyssa Ross
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<20190801183530.gpyu7ci3d3nreet4@x220.qyliss.net>
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As has recently been widely discussed around the web, any company that
does business in the USA has to comply with sanctions which require not
providing most services to several regions around the world. It has come
to light recently because GitHub has begun to restrict what users in
these regions can do on github.com.

These regions (Syria, Crimea, North Korea, etc.) are probably some of
the places where qaul.net would be most useful, and yet US sanctions
could make it difficult or impossible for these people to contribute to
qaul. At the moment, GitHub users in these places can still interact
with public repositories, but there's nothing stopping some other
decision being made in future by GitHub, Microsoft, or the US
government that further restricts access.

I think it's important that, given the goals of the project, using or
contributing to qaul.net does not discriminate against people based on
where they are located, and so I'd like to suggest that qual.net stops
relying on infrastructure from companies that do business in the US and
have to comply with these sanctions.

In my opinion, the best way forward would be for qaul to self-host its
essential services to the greatest extent possible. That way, even if
another country decides to impose similar sanctions, qaul.net could
adapt rather than be forced to deny participation. These should be the
primary means of interacting with qaul, if not the only. Any
conversation that happens on GitHub is a conversation that puts
contributors in sanctioned regions at a disadvantage, and so even having
an option to contribute on GitHub would be unfair, since these
conversations would arise.

What replaces GitHub matters much less, as long as it can be
self-hosted, but I think it's important to consider that the more
decentralised it is, the more difficult it would be for the developers
to be forced to deny access to people. For example, it seems to me
that sourcehut's email-driven workflow would be much more difficult to
deny access to than GitLab's, which requires people to make accounts and
interact with a central web service.

It's easy to worry that potential contributors will be put off by not
being able to contribute on GitHub, but this way, at least everybody
would have the same opportunity to contribute, not to mention the
benefits of restricting the centralized GitHub hegemony, which is the
only reason US sanctions can be such a big problem to free software
development in the first place.
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<20190801183530.gpyu7ci3d3nreet4@x220.qyliss.net> (view parent)
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Just wanting to document progress that's been going on regarding
qaul.net infrastructure

On 19-08-01 06:35, Alyssa Ross wrote:
> As has recently been widely discussed around the web, any company that
> does business in the USA has to comply with sanctions which require not
> providing most services to several regions around the world. It has come
> to light recently because GitHub has begun to restrict what users in
> these regions can do on github.com.

We're currently in the process of migrating to our own gitlab [1]
(which is actually for a related project and can be used by more
people than just qaul.net devs). It allows for OAuth signup via
gitlab.com and github.com, but also easy account registration.

So far stuff works and mirroring is setup. We still need to update
documentation and all links that might still be pointing to github.
And of course submitting patches on this mailing list is still
possible.

o/,
spacekookie

[1]: https://git.open-communication.net/qaul/qaul.net