Not everyone understands how open source is made. I received the following email from NASA a while ago.
Subject: Curl Country of Origin and NDAA Compliance
Hello, my name is [deleted] and I am a Supply Chain Risk Management Analyst at NASA. As such, I ensure that all NASA acquisitions of Covered Articles comply with Section 208 of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, Public Law 116-94, enacted December 20, 2019. To do so, the Country of Origin (CoO) information must be obtained from the company that develops, produces, manufactures, or assembles the product(s). To do so, please provide an email response or a formal document (a PDF on company letterhead is preferred, but a simple statement is sufficient) specifically identifying the country, or countries, in which Curl is developed and maintained
If the country of origin is outside the United States, please provide any information you may have stating that testing is performed in the United States prior to supplying products to customers. Additionally, if available, please identify all authorized resellers of the product in question.
Lastly, please confirm that Curl is not developed by, contain components developed by, or receive substantial influence from entities prohibited by Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA. These entities include the following companies and any of their subsidiaries or affiliates:
Hytera Communications Corporation
Huawei Technologies Company
Dahua Technology Company
Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company
Finally, we have a time frame of 5 days for a response.
Okay, I first considered going with strong sarcasm in my reply due to the complete lack of understanding, and the implied threat in that last line. What would happen if I wouldn’t respond in time?
Then it struck me that this could be my chance to once and for all get a confirmation if curl is already actually used in space or not. So I went with informative and a friendly tone.
I will answer to these questions below to the best of my ability, and maybe you can answer something for me?
curl (https://curl.se) is an open source project that creates two products, curl the command line tool and libcurl the library. I am the founder, lead developer and core maintainer of the project. To this date, I have done about 57% of the 26,000 changes in the source code repository. The remaining 43% have been done by 841 different volunteers and contributors from all over the world. Their names can be extracted from our git repository: https://github.com/curl/curl
You can also see that I own most, but not all, copyrights in the project.
I am a citizen of Sweden and I’ve been a citizen of Sweden during the entire time I’ve done all and any work on curl. The remaining 841 co-authors are from all over the world, but primarily from western European countries and the US. You could probably say that we live primarily “on the Internet” and not in any particular country.
We don’t have resellers. I work for an American company (wolfSSL) where we do curl support for customers world-wide.
Our testing is done universally and is not bound to any specific country or region. We test our code substantially before release.
Me knowingly, we do not have any components or code authored by people at any of the mentioned companies.
So finally my question: can you tell me anything about where or for what you use curl? Is it used in anything in space?
Used in space?
Of course my attempt was completely in vain and the answer back was very brief and it just said…
“We are using curl to support NASA’s mission and vision.”
Space ship image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay