The United Stated has lifted the Chinese trade sanctions, but it seems the trade war is not over yet. Recently, a Russian developer found out that he can no longer access his GitHub account.
Apparently, the list of restricted GitHub accounts does not end here. The company plans to restrict software developers in countries such as Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and Crimea.
The official GitHub support page stated that the restricted developers can no longer access the advanced features of GitHub.
This means that users can only access basic features, certain GitHub pages, along with open source and public repositories.
However, these features are only available for personal communications. GitHub does not allow the use of its service for commercial purposes for developers based in US sanctioned countries.
The CEO of GitHub explained on Twitter:
It is painful for me to hear how trade restrictions have hurt people. We have gone to great lengths to do no more than what is required by the law, but of course people are still affected. GitHub is subject to US trade law, just like any company that does business in the US.
— Nat Friedman (@natfriedman) July 28, 2019
The worst part about this decision is that you can no longer access premium services and private repositories. It is worth mentioning that the company didn’t inform the developers about its decision.
Some recent reports suggest that they didn’t even get a chance to download any important data from their accounts.
You can still clone your repository
It seems like GitHub is using an automated process to restrict the accounts. Some people managed to access their data with the help of a quick trick.
At the time of writing this article, you can clone your repository. It remains to be seen if GitHub decides to take notice and blocks this feature as well.
GitHub‘s explains in its terms of service:
Users are responsible for ensuring that the content they develop and share on GitHub.com complies with the U.S. export control laws, including the EAR (Export Administration Regulations) and the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
According to GitHub, the company is analyzing different criteria to block user accounts. Some of the major factors are payment history and IP addresses.
GitHub also plans to block access using VPN services. However, it is not clear how the company plans to enforce the restrictions.
This situation is pretty annoying for many people. There are many talented developers who have been affected by the ban.
They said that GitHub should have informed them in the first place. We hope that the ban will be lifted very soon.
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