Despite US sanctions, GitHub heads over to the hand of Crimea

The management of GitHub needs to restore complete access to the service to developers of Iranians/Russians and is barred due to US sanctions. GitHub has already obtained a license to unblock Iranian programmers, and Crimean programmers are next in line, but no clear dates have been specified in GitHub yet.

Unlocking Anti-authorization
GitHub Head of Service Nat Friedman (Nat Friedman) announced a potential eventual resumption of work with the Crimean and Syrian developers. Actually, according to the order of the US government, programmers living in those regions will not entirely access the operation (GitHub has been owned by the American Microsoft since 2018 ).

There is no timeline for when precisely these constraints will be removed, as Friedman said in his blog post on the GitHub Blog, but he is moving in this direction. According to him, the first step has already been taken – developers from Iran can use GitHub from 5 January 2021, and has already been subject to sanctions from 2019 to that day.

GitHub obtained a license directly from the US government to partner with Iranian developers. They now have access, both paying and free, to all GitHub facilities, although previously they had access only to public repositories.

In Russia, Grigory Bakunov, director of technology distribution at Yandex, as well as the editor and creator of the addmeto Telegram channel, was the first to call attention to the publication of Neil Fridman.

Fighting the authorities’ decision
The GitHub chief emphasized that the effort to block developers comes not from Microsoft or the GitHub leadership, but from the American officials, who have placed restrictions on a whole list of countries and territories, including Iran, Crimea, North Korea and Syria. Such prohibitions mean a ban on any U.S. corporation from doing business on the sanctions list with anybody in the countries.

Forced to obey their country’s laws, in the summer of 2019, GitHub introduced restrictions on foreign programmers, but at the same time began working immediately to remove or bypass them.

Fighting the authorities’ decision
The GitHub chief emphasized that the effort to block developers comes not from Microsoft or the GitHub leadership, but from the American officials, who have placed restrictions on a whole list of countries and territories, including Iran, Crimea, North Korea and Syria. Such restrictions imply a ban on any U.S. company from doing business on the sanctions list with anyone in the countries.

Required to respect their country’s rules, in the summer of 2019, GitHub imposed limitations on international programmers, but at the same time started working immediately to eliminate or bypass them.

Post on the GitHub blog by Nat Friedman
In the first location, the service even opened access to online archives for certain countries which were on the list of sanctions. GitHub then sent requests to the Office of Foreign Assets Control to return access to its services to foreign developers (part of the US Treasury Department).

GitHub lawyers spent two years dealing with conflicts with the state, resulting in a license to work with Iranian programmers. They tried to prove to the authorities, according to Nat Friedman, that the use of GitHub by developers leads to the advancement of society, international connectivity and sustainable US foreign policy to encourage freedom of expression and the free flow of information.

The service specialists are currently busy unblocking all Iran-related accounts and restoring full access to project resources.