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Microsoft-owned GitHub blocks devices in US sanctioned countries



A developer in the Eastern European region of Crimea has found itself at the receiving end of the restrictions on its GitHub account due to trade regulation regulations imposed by the United States.

Anatoliy Kashkin uses GitHub services to host his website and a game management tool he maintains, called GameHub. Earlier this week, he received a message about US-imposed trade sanctions affecting his access to the account and resources.

Specifically, this translated into a 404 & # 39; not found & # 39; error when trying to reach his site with GitHub host and inability to create new private repositories.

Existing private depots were also outside the boundaries of Kashkin. When he tried to access them, he found that they were disabled due to US restrictions on the Commerce Control Act.

However, he was able to create public repositories, but it was not possible to delete them. After a while, the developer was allowed to delete public code.

GitHub states that code and information uploaded to the platform, including Enterprise Server, "may be subject to trade control regulations, including under the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR)."

The list of countries facing sanctions from the United States authorities include the Crimean region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. This affects developers living in these regions.

Although Kashkin has options that keep the site and code accessible to the public, the problem of easy access for people who are used to finding the assets on GitHub is the problem.

"Discoverability is also a very important factor. I don't think many people will find GameHub on a server that is hosted even somewhere, and I don't think many of them will report problems there either." – says Kashkin

GitHub has an overview of handling security issues quickly and efficiently. A self-hosting alternative, for example, comes with the hassle of the patch routine, which affects the code development cycle and in many cases can constitute longer periods of exposure.

Since Kashkin was notified of restricted access, other projects by developers in sanctioned regions are undergoing the same problems.

On Friday, Indian full-time machinist Akash Joshi pointed out that the restrictions were rolling out in waves, so some developers had time to plan the move to another service. [19659013] People knew for a while that this was coming, and the bans happened in waves, so some people, like my friend @ 0xaryan had time to respond.

Others, however, were not so lucky: https://t.co/Em1X2BegHz 3/4

– Akash Joshi (@akashtrikon) July 26, 2019

According to Iranian developer Parham Alvani, the limitations of GitHub happened without warning and denied them the opportunity to get their projects out.

"GitHub used to be an open and free platform for everyone, but it has decided to restrict Iranian accounts from contributing and being part of the open source ecosystem. Although we understand that GitHub can make this decision under pressure from the US government, we expected more respectful action from GitHub. " – Parham Alvani

Alvani also pointed to several open source projects by Iranian developers affected by the restrictions. A larger list of them is available here.

Another Iranian software engineer also discussed the ripples of this decision, which includes all people in the countries facing US sanctions and which may also have an impact on the further development and maintenance of open source projects.

The developer states that Riot, the company behind the League of Legends game, informed users that they can no longer access the game due to current US laws and regulations affecting their region.


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