Understanding US export controls with open source projects

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The Linux Foundation has produced a new whitepaper, in English and Chinese about export controls and open source and has summarized its findings on its blog:

The primary source of United States federal government restrictions on exports are the Export Administration Regulations or EAR. The EAR is published and updated regularly by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) within the US Department of Commerce. The EAR applies to all items “subject to the EAR,” and may control the export, re-export, or transfer (in-country) of such items.

Under the EAR, the term “export” has a broad meaning. Exports can include not only the transfer of a physical product from inside the US to an external location but also other actions. The simple act of releasing technology to someone other than a US citizen or lawful permanent resident within the United States is deemed to be an export, as is making available software for electronic transmission that can be received by individuals outside the US. 

This may seem alarming for open source communities, but the good news is open source technologies that are published and made publicly available to the world are not subject to the EAR. Therefore, open source remains one of the most accessible models for global collaboration.

Click here to read the Linux Foundation blog