The popular code repository platform GitHub aims to connect millions of developers to develop and share better software. However, the Microsoft-owned platform has now started blocking developers based on the country they operate from.
A Russian developer named Anatoliy Kashkin residing in the Crimea region of Ukraine said that his account was unexpectedly “restricted” this week.
Kashkin used GitHub to publish his personal blog and host the GameHub launcher for Linux that brought Steam, GOG, and Humble Bundle games in one place.
On July 24, he posted: “My GitHub account has been restricted due to US sanctions as I live in Crimea. I may not be able to continue maintaining GameHub in future.”
He also shared a screenshot of the message sent by GitHub. ZDNet reports that there are other GitHub users as well in Crimea whose accounts have been restricted.
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In a similar incident, Iran-based developer Hamed Saeedi, took to Medium to report that his GitHub account was restricted as well.
However, GitHub has always remained transparent on how it treats users based in countries that have been sanctioned by the US.
The GitHub and Trade Controls support page clearly states: “To comply with U.S. trade control laws, GitHub recently made some required changes to the way we conduct our services.”
Unfortunately, these terms and conditions do not align with the platform’s goals of connecting developers across the world. It seems like US laws carry more weight than company ideals and it is sad to see a platform like GitHub lose its essence just under pressure.