Yesterday there was some good news from SourceForge.net according to its policy against users from “banned countries” like Iran. Now, sourceforge lets the project admins to select if they want to block such users or not. There is a new option in project settings page about export control. Unfortunately, the default setting is to ban users from such countries to access the content, but at least the admin(s) of the project are able to allow this access.
This is a welcome decision, and it has been made in a reasonable time. We had some discussions about moving the SimSpark project (RoboCup Soccer Simulation 3D Server) to a new project hosting service, and all expressed opinions were supporting this decision. However, with the new policy change it is less likely that we will move the project. Specially, it seems that they have opened https access to the contributors of these countries which was blocked since a long time ago.
Currently, it is still not possible to download the projects which allow access; but instead of getting an “Access Forbidden” page you’ll get a blank page if you are accessing the site from a banned country. Sine the access is supposed to be allowed, it seems to be a bug in their software which hopefully will be fixed soon!
BTW, there can be always some bad news too: Adobe has changed its policy recently and you can no longer download their free content (e.g. Adobe Flash Player) from banned countries.