Despite its promise to cater to the needs of individual developers, the latest wave of sanctions has forced the open-source platform to block even former employees of sanctioned firms.
Major developer platform GitHub has reportedly blocked more than a dozen accounts of Russian developers associated with organizations sanctioned by the United States government.
The sanctioned accounts include some of the largest banks in Russia — Sberbank and Alfa-Bank — alongside individual developers with links to the sanctioned firms. However, many individual accounts with no links or ties to sanctioned firms were also blocked in the process. Researcher Sergey Bobrov, who reportedly has no current links to any such firm, claimed on April 15 that his account was suspended and then restored.
My github account is unlocked, thanks everyone. The ban was related to the sanctions imposed on my previous employer.
— Sergey Bobrov (@Black2Fan) April 15, 2022
Another developer, Vadim Yanitskiy, wrote:
“My @github account has been suspended without a prior notification. Perhaps because I am ethnically Russian. ‘GitHub’s vision is to be the home for all developers, no matter where they reside’ they said.”
GitHub is a popular software development platform used for storing, tracking and collaborating on software projects. It enables developers to upload their own code files and collaborate with fellow developers on open-source projects. It has become a core part of the crypto ecosystem because of its open-source nature.
According to early reports, most of the firms and developers facing suspension belong to private Russian banks, and no crypto firm or developer was impacted. GitHub hadn’t responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment at publishing time.
Related: North Korea-obsessed Ethereum dev gets 5 years for breaking sanctions
A few Russian developers contacted GitHub regarding their suspension and received a response explaining the reasons behind the move, including a link through which they could appeal.
GitHub’s response to developers.
The blocking of individual developers’ accounts raises many questions, especially considering the open-source platform promised in March “to ensure free open source services are available to all, including developers in Russia.”