Why can’t I use GitHub, Dropbox for my escrow lodgements?
This is a question we often get from customers new to escrow. The easiest way to explain it is by using an example.
The software developer stores their software on GitHub and provides access credentials (a username and password) to the escrow agent – who stores the credentials as part of the escrow arrangement. Later, the relationship between the software developer and the customer breaks down and the customer calls on the escrow agreement to gain access to the source code so that they can continue to do business normally. But meanwhile the software developer can access Github and interfere or even destroy the materials rendering the escrow arrangement useless.
A core feature of an escrow service is that; once the materials have been lodged with the escrow agent you can not access them. The escrow agent protects the materials from everyone – especially the software developer. If the relationship between the software developer and the customer breaks down, the customer knows that the software developer can not interfere with the escrow materials.
This is why we can not use Github, Dropbox or any other repository as storage for escrow lodgements. At Harbinger, the escrow materials are uploaded to our escrow management system and then stored offline to prevent anyone – including the developer, from accessing the materials.