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According to Russian media Habr, at least dozens of GitHub accounts have been blocked, disabled, and emptied of content locally in recent times. These include accounts with Sberbank, Alfa-Bank, other companies and individual developers.

It is reported that as early as February 28 this year, the Russian "Kommersant" reported that it had received news that "GitHub is considering restricting Russian software developers' access to open source software source code repositories".

Immediately after early April, there were media reports that the U.S. Treasury Department had imposed comprehensive blockade sanctions on Sberbank and Russia's largest private bank, Alfa-Bank. Sanctions include freezing bank assets and barring U.S. citizens and companies from doing business with the bank.

In response to the incident, researcher Sergey Bobrov said that GitHub also blocked his personal GitHub account. The point is, he has nothing to do with any of the above companies.

It was revealed that when GitHub blocks an individual account, it gets a suspended flag. However, when it blocks a company account, its status is "flagged". Additionally, when corporate accounts are blocked, access to repository data may be retained for several hours; when GitHub blocks personal accounts, users lose access immediately. When blocked, issues and requests to other repositories will disappear. And some blocked accounts do not contain private repositories, only public repositories.

Some users received emails showing that they could manage their accounts from sanctioned territories: when users browsed the link in the email, they had to fill out an appeal form. They should also indicate the company or user's relationship with North Korea, Syria, Crimea, the LPR, and the DPR.

“This is not surprising. We mean that on March 2, 2022, representatives of the GitHub web service hosting IT projects ended a dispute over whether Russian developers should be blocked. The platform said it would monitor the situation and would not block all People. Before this, developers from all over the world discussed the need to disable GitHub in the Russian Federation.”

In response to the ban, GitHub publicly stated: "GitHub's vision is to be a home for all developers, no matter where they live. We earnestly fulfill the obligations authorized by the government, including complying with strict new export controls aimed at severely restricting Russia. Acquire technology and other items needed to maintain its 'aggressive' military capabilities".

GitHub also said that they will take their responsibilities seriously and thoroughly review government mandates to ensure users and customers are not affected outside the scope of the mandate. This includes protecting open collaboration and the free flow of information in GitHub's interconnected community to support communications, humanitarian work, and organizational change. "

According to DAXX statistics, there are 412,000 developers in Russia by 2021. If according to what Europe and the United States said, Russia "implemented a national system that does not separate the military and civilians", then this "GitHub account ban" incident will affect all developers.

At present, the discussion on the incident on the Internet is still hot, and this site will continue to pay attention to the incident. What do you think of this event? Welcome to exchange and interact in the comment area.


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