Item C2 in the Free Software Foundation's Ethical Repository Criteria requires that a repository host, such as Savannah or GitLab, "not discriminate [...] against any country". How can this be done while complying with applicable foreign law?
Consider a takedown order issued by some country A to a service in a different country. The order may cite copyright, patent, trademark, defamation, decency, radio communication regulation, medical device regulation, or any other national law. The service's legal team reviews the order and finds it to be warranted pursuant to the laws of country A but unwarranted pursuant to the laws of the service's home country. The service can do one of a few things:
- A. Do nothing, making its assets reachable in some way by country A subject to official confiscation and causing country A to block access by residents of country A to all repositories on the service.
- B. Block the affected repository in all countries, which encourages an adversary to forum-shop the most ideologically intolerant countries in order to get a particular repository taken down.
- C. Geoblock the affected repository, limiting the damage to just that (repository, country) pair but violating C2. GitHub has done this with respect to orders issued by the Russian Federation, which forms part of its basis for its F (unacceptable) rating from the FSF.
- D. Something that I have not imagined but your answer explains.