Where’s Adobe blocked?

At PBS Mediashift, Jessica Dheere wrote on “Google Blocks Chrome Browser Use in Syria, Iran”. This made me curious about Adobe, so I searched on “site:adobe.com ‘north korea'”. This turned up the Adobe website’s Terms of Use, which describes it this way:

The export and re-export of Adobe Software are controlled by the United States Export Administration Regulations, and such Software may not be exported or re-exported to Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, or any country to which the United States embargoes goods. In addition, the Software may not be distributed to persons on the Table of Denial Orders, the Entity List, or the List of Specially Designated Nationals.

By downloading Software, you are certifying that you are not a national of Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or any country to which the United States embargoes goods, and that you are not a person on the Table of Denial Orders, the Entity List, or the List of Specially Designated Nationals.

From this, I’m assuming both companies are legally bound by the US regulations on cryptographic export, which were logical enough after cryptography won World War II, but which are in a different environment today. Browsers use cryptography for secure communications with servers. No digital lock is uncrackable, but they do add to the cost of unwanted eavesdropping.

Anyway, if you were wondering too, then that’s the link…. 😉

4 Responses to Where’s Adobe blocked?

  1. Hi, John,
    Thanks for following up on this comment made by Sadeq about being able to download Adobe products. I’m not sure about the crytpographic export relationship, but it does seem that US law, even sanctions law, is overly broad for the environment that has evolved over the past few years. Can you think of any legitimate technical reason why these software applications should be banned? Thanks again for keeping the discussion going.

  2. John Dowdell says:

    Hi Jessica, thanks for stopping by. I can’t tell for sure — might be just a general ban on dealing with nations which overly harm their own citizens and others — but cryptographic restrictions have been a common core issue in the past.

  3. chi says:

    I believe this is due to export controls for encryption. Even in 2000, I remember Lotus Notes and Netscape Communicator couldn’t cross borders into Mexico or many other nations. In 2004, the rules became more lax but we still have high export controls over any encryption levels over 64bit.

  4. Hany Maurice says:

    is this still valid ?
    still Sudan and Libya cant get adobe software ??
    [jd sez: This comment’s on an old blogpost, but I don’t remember hearing of any recent changes in national restrictions on cryptographic exports.]