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About Cuba's ban from Docker services

(Alex Coto) #1

Docker’s awesome, but I’m a developer from Cuba, and there’s one thing that hinders us from using it.

The thing is, since we’re a sanctioned country, we get this page when trying to access the Docker webs/images.

I know these things are mandatory, but I wanted to ask if these regulations could be reviewed. Relationships between our countries have been improving since President Obama visited our country on March this year, and there have been a lot of significant ammendments to the U.S. policy regarding our country.

The thing is, the sanctions specific to Cuba are well described in this page from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and I believe Docker is a piece of software that could perfectly apply for a license exception under the “Support for the Cuban People” category. Docker can be used to deploy many different kinds of services, such as Rocket.Chat, for instance, in which case it could indirectly “improve the free flow of information”, as per the regulation terms.

Any help or comments on this matter will be really appreciated. Thanks!

(Sweetreason) #2

removing the sanction would be best, of course, but in the meantime can you use a VPN? it would probably have to be a non-american one, of course!

(Marcelmfs) #3

Tor is your friend if you don’t have access to an open vpn or proxy outside of the US.

(Bill Anderson) #4

Having been through this kind of stuff before, I wouldn’t expect Docker to meet the full criteria because it is also very wide ranging in uses- probably too wide under the EAR. Also, indirect support of something is usually not enough because almost anything could “indirectly” support nearly anything.

(R.F. Pels) #5

That’s exactly why these measures are ludicrous. I can use Microsoft Word to draw up plans for a nuclear device. So? Would this mean it is restricted?

(Bill Anderson) #6

No, because that is an indirect use. You’re illustrating why “indirect” is not enough to qualify one way or the other. 'm not saying I agree with the rules, btw, just that “indirectly support(s|ed)” is not a valid qualifier because it is too broad - in either direction. Saying something “indirectly supports” something positive would not be enough to obtain an exception anymore than it “indirectly supporting” something bad would ban it.

So your “example” is actually an example of how not to interpret the law, for it is more specific and rigid in the actual definition than we laymen often make it out to be.

(R.F. Pels) #7

The example is to indicate that this type of reasoning and lawmaking is ludicrous. I don’t care what the correct interpretation of that law is - I think that that kind of lawmaking is immoral.

(Alex Coto) #8

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

@sweetreason, @marcelmfs, yes, I can use something of the sort. Though right now I’m more worried about those who can’t use their own VPNs. Some of our CS students at the University of Havana, for instance: I’d like to be able to teach them about Docker without having to teach them about VPNs and Tor first. Nevertheless, thanks for the advice.

@therealbill, @ruurd, yes, it’s a shame these laws are still standing. Being optimistic, however, I’d like to think that these new regulations are this broad on purpose, and that they lean towards the positive side, rather than the other one.

(R.F. Pels) #9

Cue fascist idiot becoming POTUS real soon now…

(Alex Coto) #11

Hey everyone,

Sorry to bring this up again, but since there’s so much uncertainty to what will happen in the future with Trump, I wanted to give this one more shot.

I’ve been researching a little bit more, and I found in the Code of Federal Regulations, in section §740.21 Support for the Cuban People (SCP):

(d) Improving communications.
This paragraph authorizes the export or reexport to Cuba of certain
items intended to improve the free flow of information to, from, and
among the Cuban people. […]
The export or reexport must be within one or more of the following categories:
(1) The export or reexport to Cuba of items for telecommunications, including access to the Internet, use of Internet services, infrastructure creation and upgrades. […]

(4) The export or reexport to Cuba of commodities or software that will be used by individuals or private sector entities to develop software that will improve the free flow of information or that will support the private sector activities described in paragraph (b) of this section [named Improving living conditions and supporting independent economic activity.].

Even though I don’t speak legalese, I think Docker might fit into this last category.

I understand that sometimes enterprises are forced to comply with certain regulations, or else they get sanctioned; but I strongly believe, based on what I wrote above, that this would not be the case for Cuba.

It would be great if we could all work together as developers without regard for our country of origin. Let’s help each other out by removing these old restrictions; let’s help the Docker community grow even more!