GitHub suspends accounts of Russian developers based on US sanctions

GitHub seems to have blocked the accounts of Russian developers based on US sanctions laws. Both individual software makers and companies from the country would no longer be able to access the developer platform. Russian code repositories were also removed.

Only users who are or were involved with sanctioned Russian companies would have been banned from the platform, BleepingComputer writes. GitHub, which is under Microsoft, has not publicly announced the sanctions. According to the Russian Habr, users who object receive an email explaining that under US trade laws, the platform is not allowed to provide services to users from countries that are subject to sanctions.

GitHub’s action is in direct contrast to an earlier statement from the IT platform; in early March, the company wrote that everyone is assured of free open source services, explicitly mentioning developers from Russia. “We are the home of open source and all developers and take our role as a protector of open collaboration and the free flow of information among our connected users very seriously. This means that we keep the platform accessible to all developers, no matter where they come from. (…) We insure services for everyone, including for developers from Russia.”

In a statement to BleepingComputer, GitHub says it still adheres to this philosophy. Since the company is based in the U.S., it must “restrict users and customers when they are designated as specially designated nationals or are part of blocked parties under U.S. sanctions laws.”

It is not clear whether affected accounts are indeed affiliated or were with companies affected by sanctions. GitHub offers a form that allows users to object to the suspension. This could cause the suspension to roll back in some cases.

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