GitHub imposes sanctions on accounts of developers from Iran, the Crimea and Syria

GitHub has begun to restrict developers’ accounts in countries and regions that are currently under US trade sanctions.

It is noted that at least one developer from Crimea annexed by Russia has lost access to its private repositories on GitHub. Another user who is in Iran, also said restriction of his account.

On the service support page, it is noted that GitHub is taking measures against developers located in the Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

«Unfortunately we had to implement new restrictions on private repos and paid accounts in Iran, Syria, and Crimea. GitHub will continue to advocate vigorously with governments around the world for policies that protect software developers and the global open source community”, — says GitHub CEO Nat Friedman.

He stressed that public repositories are still available worldwide and that open source repositories have not been affected.

The GitHub support page states that having limited access to your account means that access to private repositories and paid services has been suspended, and developers in affected regions will receive only “limited access to GitHub public repository services … for personal communications only purposes. ”.

Nat Friedman
Nat Friedman

Friedman added that users could make their private repositories public in order to access and clone them.

The support page also states that blocking is based on IP addresses and payment history. This means that developers may be subject to account restrictions while visiting one of the affected regions.

Read also: Unknown hackers compromised Canonical account on GitHub

However, developers are not allowed to use VPN to bypass the ban. It also notes that “nationality and ethnicity” are not used to mark accounts.

At the same time, at least one developer, who claims to be in Finland, fell under the restriction of the account. Developers can appeal such decision if they believe that their account should not be limited.

Representatives of GitHub said earlier that export controls would not be applied to the service due to US sanctions against China, but they have yet to confirm that nothing has changed since then. The company also has not yet confirmed whether developers from the affected regions are blocked automatically or on an individual basis.

Microsoft, which owns the GitHub service, found it necessary to state:

GitHub is subject to U.S. trade control laws, and is committed to full compliance with applicable law. At the same time, GitHub’s vision is to be the global platform for developer collaboration, no matter where developers reside. As a result, we take seriously our responsibility to examine government mandates thoroughly to be certain that users and customers are not impacted beyond what is required by law. This includes keeping public repositories services, including those for open source projects, available and accessible to support personal communications involving developers in sanctioned regions.

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Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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