GitHub suspends Russian developers at sanctioned firms

GitHub suspends Russian developers at sanctioned firms

Russian software developers are reporting that their GitHub accounts are being suspended without notice if they work for or have previously worked for companies sanctioned by the US.

A wave of bans began on April 13, according to Russian media outlets, and it did not discriminate between businesses and individuals.

The code repositories of Sberbank Technology, Sberbank AI Lab, and Alfa Bank Laboratory, for example, were initially disabled and are no longer available on GitHub.

GitHub suspends Russian developers at sanctioned firms

Because Microsoft owns GitHub, an American company, and because these companies were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury last week, the action is not surprising.

It is surprising, however, to see the suspension of private accounts belonging to dozens of individuals who do not host content that is sanctioned by any government agency.

GitHub suspends Russian developers at sanctioned firms

Suspended GitHub accounts have their content wiped while all repositories and issues and pull requests are immediately unavailable.

Hackers in Russia were informed that their accounts had been suspended because of U.S. sanctions, according to, and were sent an email titled 'GitHub and Trade Controls' in response.

GitHub suspends Russian developers at sanctioned firms

If you've been suspended, you can read about the company's sanctions and trade controls on the GitHub page linked in this email.

In order to file an appeal, the individual must verify that they are not using their GitHub account on behalf of a sanctioned entity.

A developer wrote on Twitter that he had been put on administrative leave because his former employer had been sanctioned and that he could get it lifted by completing a form.

Move that's been called into question

Russia-based developers are welcome on GitHub, and the company has previously stated that its goal is to be a place where all developers, regardless of location, can come together.

When it comes to making GitHub accessible to developers around the world, the platform says it's also making sure "free open-source services are available to everyone," including those in Russia, in a blog post published in March of this year.

On GitHub's blog, there hasn't been any new information about these policies, so we can only assume that they remain unchanged.

According to GitHub's response to a request from Bleeping Computer for comment on the recently reported suspension wave

Like any company that does business in the U.S., GitHub may have to restrict users and customers identified as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) or other denied or blocked parties under U.S. and other applicable sanctions laws, or that may be using GitHub on behalf of blocked parties.


At the same time, GitHub’s vision is to be the global platform for developer collaboration, no matter where developers reside. We examine government sanctions thoroughly to be certain that users and customers are not impacted beyond what is required by law. - GitHub

Suspended accounts are linked to, collaborated with or worked for a sanctioned entity according to this information. In spite of this, even those who had previously worked for a sanctioned company appear to have been suspended by error.

Even if a Russian user has no connection to the sanctioned entities, their projects and accounts can be wiped and shut down at any time.


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