Russian developers are reporting their GitHub accounts have been suspended if they previously worked for sanctioned companies – even though they no longer work for those companies.
Russian media claims the suspensions began on April 13.
The accounts of sanctioned companies, like Alfa Bank Laboratory, Sberbank AI Lab, and Sberbank Technology, have been removed from the Microsoft-owned software development hosting service GitHub.
GitHub has gone a step further by suspending the accounts of individual developers affiliated with sanctioned companies. The move contradicts a previous statement by the company that its services would be available to everyone “including developers in Russia.”
“In parallel with our efforts to make sure GitHub is available to developers in all countries, we are continuing to ensure free open source services are available to all, including developers in Russia,” GitHub wrote in a blog post in March.
Individual developers that have attempted to appeal the suspension have received an email with an explanation that their accounts were suspended because of US sanctions. The email also contains a link they can use to appeal the suspension.
In a statement, GitHub said: “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 the US’ 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.”
According to Bleeping Computer, the suspended Russian developers are working with or for, collaborating, or affiliated with sanctioned companies. However, some appear to have been suspended in error because they are no longer affiliated with the sanctioned companies.