GitHub limits developer accounts based in Iran, Crimea and other countries under US sanctions

GitHub has started limiting the accounts of developers in countries that are currently subject to US trade sanctions. ZDNet reports that one developer in Crimea has lost access to its private GitHub repositories, while another in Iran Medium message about limiting his account. A support page from the Microsoft company notes that GitHub is taking action against developers in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.


Recognize the promotions on Twitter, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman said the company "unfortunately had to introduce new restrictions on private repos and paid accounts in Iran, Syria and Crimea." He stressed that public repos are still available worldwide and that open-source repos are not affected by the move.

"We don't do this because we want; we do it because we have to," Friedman said. "GitHub will continue to argue vigorously with governments around the world for policies that protect software developers and the global open source community."

GitHub & # 39; s support page says that having an account limitation means that access to private repository services and paid services has been suspended and that developers in affected countries only get "limited access to GitHub public repository services … only for personal communication and not for commercial purposes". TechCrunch notes that developers who need to save export-controlled data can continue to do so with the GitHub corporate server product.

At least one developer affected by the promotion was told that the company was not "legally capable" of providing an export of the disabled repository content. Friedman has added that the company does not believe that it is legally able to notify these restrictions in advance, but said users can choose to make their private repos public to access and clone.

The support page says that blocking is based on IP addresses and payment history, which means that developers might find their accounts restricted during the duration of a visit to one of these countries. (Developers are not allowed to use VPNs to circumvent the ban.) It says that "nationality and ethnicity" are not used to flag accounts, at least a developer claiming to be based in Finland has seen his account limited. Developers can appeal against his decision if they think their account should not have been restricted.

Have GitHub spokespersons previously said that export controls would not apply to the US sanctions service against China, but they still have to confirm what has changed since then. The company must also confirm whether developers are automatically blocked or whether this is done on a case-by-case basis.


The edge contacted Microsoft for more information about the ban, but the company has only issued this generic statement:

GitHub is subject to US trade laws and strives to fully comply with applicable law. At the same time, GitHub's vision is to be the global platform for collaboration between developers, regardless of where developers live. That is why we take our responsibility to thoroughly examine government mandates to ensure that users and customers do not experience any consequences other than legally required. This includes keeping public repository services, including those for open source projects, available and accessible to support personal communication with developers in sanctioned regions.

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