After a long search through dozens of wrong answers from professionals in the field, I’ve found the answer on the subject of ITAR with respect to open source engineering on the internet. ITAR doesn’t apply.
Last week the White House and Department of Defense issued statements concerning upgrades to the regime that were focused on the sale of material goods, exclusively. I was baffled until I read one little well written comment to Open NASA on IdeaScale by Martin Hegedus.
Open source engineering on the internet is speech, and as such is protected by the First Amendment. This would explain a great many mysteries, including the focus of the administration on the sale of commercial goods.
Since my beginning an earnest exploration of engineering topics in space flight last May, I had met with grave and serious statements from professionals in the aerospace industry that some components could not be openly documented under ITAR restrictions. Plainly this was horseradish.
Obviously, when one faces such statements one is obligated to follow ones perception of the law until a better understanding becomes clear — in self preservation if nothing more.
Clearly the logic of the ITAR puzzle is solved with this new (for me and many others) information.
Meanwhile, the old ideas apply. No one wants to hand the incivil and offensive a weapon with which to share their insanity with the world. A common sense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is shared among the peaceful peoples of the Earth.
So if one has a design for an LH2/LOX propulsion system, does one publish it openly on the internet? Probably. The incivil won’t bother building something as complex. And in the movie plot scenario where they do, society at large has defenses.