GitHub is starting to block developers in countries with US trade sanctions
GitHub has begun sending notices to users in countries that have been subjected to United States trade sanctions that state that their accounts have been restricted.
Publicly shared by GameHub developer and Crimea resident Anatoliy Kashkin via an issue report on GameHub's GitHub page, restrictions have been put in place due to these sanctions that make it so he "may not be able to continue maintaining GameHub in future."
According to GitHub's official support article detailing these restrictions, users in the following countries will be subjected to these restrictions:
• Crimea • Cuba • Iran • North Korea • Syria
For GitHub users from other countries that are currently traveling within them, restrictions will still be applied for the duration of your stay. After you leave, you can submit a reinstatement request through GitHub's official appeals request form.
Hypothetically, Kashkin and other developers impacted by these restrictions can seek out another Git host, such as GitLab, to provide a new home for their work, but that comes at the cost of at least some of the user base and following they have accrued through their work on GitHub over the years. The cost of discoverability could also impact the quality of development too, with decreased exposure meaning fewer people to test and report any issues with new builds and iterations of software. There's also the fact that for GitLab specifically, as it's hosted in the United States, may have to comply with the same trade sanctions and the restrictions placed because of them.
Outlets such as ZDNet have approached GitHub for comment. As of this writing, no response has been issued.