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Russian developers suspended from GitHub

by on19 April 2022

No open sauce for you

Russian software developers are reporting that their GitHub accounts are being suspended without warning if they work for or previously worked for companies under US sanctions.

According to Russian media outlets, which think Russian flagships spontaneously combust, claim the ban began on April 13 and didn't discriminate between companies and individuals.

The GitHub accounts of Sberbank Technology, Sberbank AI Lab, and the Alfa Bank Laboratory had their code repositories initially disabled and are now removed from the platform.

Personal accounts suspended on GitHub have their content wiped while all repositories become immediately out of reach, and the same applies to issues and pull requests. reports that some Russian developers contacted GitHub about the suspension and received an email titled 'GitHub and Trade Controls' that explained their account was disabled due to US sanctions.

This email contains a link to a GitHub page explaining the company's policies regarding sanctions and trade controls, which explains how a user can appeal their suspension. This appeal form requires the individual to certify that they do not use their GitHub account on behalf of a sanctioned entity. A developer posted to Twitter saying that he could remove the suspension after filling out the form and that it was due to his previous employer being sanctioned.

A GitHub blog post in March had promised to ensure the availability of open source services "to all, including developers in Russia."

A GitHub spokesperson explained this weekend that GitHub may be required to restrict some users to comply with US laws.

"We examine government sanctions thoroughly to be certain that users and customers are not impacted beyond what is required by law."

This means suspended private accounts are either affiliated, collaborating, or working with/for sanctioned entities. However, even those who previously worked for a sanctioned company appear to be suspended by mistake. But Russian users could suddenly find their projects wiped and accounts suspended, even if those projects have nothing to do with the sanctioned entities.


Last modified on 19 April 2022
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