Here's something you may never have to see in your lifetime:
This is not something new to me and many others. In fact these sort of discriminations have happened to me so much that I'm very sad to have gotten used to it. Let me catch you up on what's going on.
Update 1 - 28/7/19
It is now possible to make your private repositories public.
A few days ago, I received an email from GitHub which stated that my GitHub account has been restricted due to "Trade Control Laws Restrictions". Opening my GitHub profile, I found out that I can't access my private repositories. It also had stopped publishing my GitHub Pages sites. I was pretty upset and disappointed to see this happen again.
I understand that GitHub may be innocent and simply obligated to comply by the US government laws and regulations but here's the sad part, it's not the governments who suffer. It's us. We have to pay the price just because governments and politicians don't get along.
I do appreciate GitHub providing free private repository hosting for us, but I do believe it was absolutely unprofessional and unethical to block our access to our private assets without any prior notice.
You might think, "what's the big deal?! there are many alternatives out there." Yeah, I know but this is not what it's about. It's about being constantly overlooked and discriminated against and not being able to have the same right to access the tools and resources as your fellow DEVs. 😔
How would you feel like if you wake up tomorrow and see that @ben is blocking your access to this great community of amazing developers for a stupid reason?
Please make sure to checkout this repo for more information and see how you can help us.
1995parham / github-do-not-ban-us
GitHub do not ban us from open source world 🇮🇷
A Message to GitHub
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Attention! We are so thankful for your support. This repository always shows that people are all together against unfortunate happening around the world As GitHub revised some of the previous restrictions, we decided to reduce this repository's activity. Of course, it does not mean that we agree with the sanctions and the GitHub We will post a conclusion and explain more soon, please wait for that The campaign will be terminated Thursday 1 August 23:59 (Tehran Time GMT +4:30). After this time we won't merge any new PR. Once again thanks for your support and kindness Please wait for our final conclusion
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Top comments (112)
I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Github is a symbol for open source, which is about bringing people together across boundaries. This nationality-based discrimination is the opposite of that, adding insult to injury. I hope GitHub does a
git revertand rolls back these changes. Sending support to the repo from the US!
GitHub is a symbol for Microsoft buying developers 🙈
BAH! shakes cane
Before I start, I want to extend my sympathy to OP and others in his position. It sucks. Also, discussing politics implies disagreement about important issues. What I am about to write may not fit in to your world view, dear reader, but that is not a personal rejection of anyone.
That being said,
The problem here isn't US trade sanctions, it's the theocratic autocracy that runs Iran, a country in which human rights are widely suppressed. That government has been for decades actively pursuing the means to attack my country with nuclear weapons, which, unless you are some kind of anti-semite, you probably agree would be terrible.
It is and has been for years the stated goal of the Iranian government initiate a religious war which they hope will begin with the destruction of Israel and end with global conquest in the name of their extreme, twisted misinterpretation of Islam. You can choose to believe that they are not serious about this, but they have done nothing to indicate that they aren't. I give them the credit they are due and assume they mean what they have repeatedly said and backed up by their actions.
If you are against trade sanctions, would you prefer military action? I would not.
There is absolutely no chance that our community of free thinking individualists would have any hope of operating under the Iranian dictatorship with the kind of freedom and impunity we enjoy in the West.
I have only love and hope for OP and those in similar circumstances. I have nothing against your country or your people and hope that the historically strong ties between the Jews and the people of Iran will be soon restored. The fanatic dictator Khamenei and his cronies are a different story. Many Iranians stand quietly against their evil government, and I stand with them.
The morality of trade embargoes aside, any service that is brittle enough to alienate portions of their user base over regional turmoil goes against the entire point of the web.
Please respect the fact that there is a significant amount of political history that went into the decision to embargo Iran outside of the context that you’re offering - I understand that this is a very delicate issue, but detailing your personal opinions on the morality of a government or group of people isn’t necessarily a productive topic when discussing the resilience of services we use to keep our code.
The exact point I'm making is that the services we use to keep our code are inextricable parts of that political context.
In actual fact, we have those services, and that culture, because of that political history.
No liberal democracy, no GitHub.
I think that there are two areas of discussion here - the moral justifications of an embargo, and the need to remove the effects of the whims of some central authority. We absolutely have the ability to create decentralized, federated services to commit out code to in the nature of protecting all developers from this kind of embargo.
Overwhelmingly most of the open source community is built around the idea of solidarity among developers - regardless of ethnicity or nationality, race or creed. The fact of the matter is, this is a technical issue caused by a political one, but this is not a political forum. For that reason, I believe that we should keep the discussion on-topic for the type of forum that this is, and take steps to reinforce our community against the effects of racist policy.
What you're calling racist policy, I call nonviolent sanctions that predate the Trump administration and are meant to prevent genocide.
And if those policies do prevent that genocide, that's a good thing.
This might not be a political forum (a premise which strikes me as highly debatable) but this is certainly a political topic. If you don't like political debates here, you should take umbrage with OP, not with me, friend.
I'm going to sign off with this - you still haven't addressed my key point here, being that solidarity with other developers stands beyond political leanings. I'm trying to steer the conversation from the political cause to the actions we can take to prevent it from harming our communities.
Advocating for disciplinary action against a group of people due to their nationality is racist, and I'm not willing to discuss the finer points of acceptable state violence (here, in the form of discrimination) against the citizens of any nation.
I am, however, very invested in forming a conversation around building alternatives to platforms such as GitHub that ensure users the freedom from this kind of state-sanctioned discrimination.
I addressed solidarity in the preamble to my original comment, please take another look. I'd appreciate if you would not cast my argument as some kind of personal dig at Iranian developers, something I took pains to avoid doing.
I don't believe that if two aggressors in war possess different ethnicity that it automatically makes the war a racist one. Furthermore, the USA is a multi-ethnic state. So I'd appreciate if you would at least consider that racism is not at issue here, rather geopolitics.
And I get that you would prefer that these kinds of sanctions were irrelevant, but what I'm saying to you, my friend, is that they are not, and that the continued existence of my country may well depend on that.
I hope you'll take that into consideration.
One missing point in this discussion is Github becoming a single point of failure while being owned by a huge corporation of a huge country, hence open to problems associated with global monopolies. Speaking of liberal democracy, this is a bottleneck which occurs very frequently in the history. This is something we should stand against as web is becoming more not-open every day passing by.
I'm also against "No liberal democracy, no GitHub" as this sounds more like my way or no way to me. Especially dangerous when the subject is information and science, noone should be left out so that humanity goes somewhere better.
I mean chances are better for a society to become more democratic faster if they are exposed more with the opennes philosophy of the web and software development. We should stand for this, and US people should stand for the exclusion of open source platforms from trade sanctions.
Just to clarify: what I meant was that, in my view, the open source community could only have grown out of a Liberal Democracy. I was describing history, not threatening anyone.
Regarding decentralization, I think your arguments are valid regardless of the present discussion. However, things being how they are, I do support sanctions against tyrannical and genocidal governments.
liberal democracyto describe the history (and specifically inception) of open source software. This take is pretty naive in a lot of ways, and kind of misguided in others? Making a blanket statement that any ideology (in this case, I assume you're using liberal democracy as a stand in for capitalism) is the source of something as far reaching as the open source community just doesn't follow with the actual history.
Some projects are pretty democratic, sure - but others have (tongue-in-cheek but still valid) "benevolent dictators for life". Some projects are led by working groups that aren't voted in by the community, and the future of some projects are decided by major stakeholders put forward by browser vendors and big companies. Some open source projects are even controlled by private companies (bit of a stretch to call it truly democratic).
I'm not arguing the morality of how institutional power shapes open source communities here either, a lot of the time it works out more or less. I am saying that I think your take on liberal democracy™ being the source of it all is a bit of a flawed model.
tyrannical and genocidal, but the actions of their government and the effects of trade bans on their citizens are completely separate issues. The key issue here is the effect of the ban effecting people, and it would be super cool if you stopped falsely equivocating the Iranian government with the citizens of Iran.
Liberal democracy refers to the prevailing system of government and society in the West, especially since the end of World War 2. Coincidentally, exactly where and when the internet and the software culture we're debating came about. I'm saying that it's not a coincidence - the values of one directly lead to the advent of the other.
They are specifically and emphatically not separate issues. The aim of sanctions is to pressure the government to change course. That will not happen if their people are copacetic.
That's a big yikes from me family - history isn't so neatly packaged and
the Westmeans a lot of things to a lot of people.
The reason I've taken pains to try and steer this away from your hot takes is because solidarity among developers supersedes nationalistic rhetoric like you've been laying out in this thread.
By stating that a specific group of people built the internet you are very deliberately implying certain other groups did not - there are many countries and groups of people who have grown and shaped the web, and as such it cannot be claimed by any other group of people or central authority.
Please don't try and convince people that "no, it's actually a good thing that this happened because Iranians need to do something about their government". There is an entire history of why that's an awful (and somewhat racist) take to have.
I'm sure you'll have the last word here, but maybe it's more appropriate to post on your blog or something?
I feel like we're going in circles, Dyl, but I hope you'll reconsider your characterisation of my position as racist.
Racism would be the Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah starting that "if the Jews would gather in Israel, it would save us from going after them worldwide".
Racism would be Hamas' founding document, inciting their followers to murder Jews anywhere they find them.
Racism would be the constant credible threats of annihilation that the Ayatollahs make against Israel.
Resisting against these dictators is a moral imperative.
I hope you'll think about how, from my perspective, it sounds like you're saying "as long as it's only Jews in the crosshairs, it's racist to tackle the shooter".
So let's tackle this one at a time:
Hezbollah is primarily based out of Lebanon, and Hamas primarily out of Gaza. Insinuating that Iranian developers should be punished for their rhetoric implies that you are coming at this from an intensely racial place, which is not welcome in a real discussion, political or otherwise.
You are still insisting that Iranians deserve to be punished for the actions of their government, and you're doing an incredibly shallow job of concern trolling - at no point did I say or imply that any culture deserves to be
in the crosshairsfor any reason. I am saying that the rhetoric you're using is racist, and you should seriously reflect on this stuff my dude.
At this point, you're conflating the statements of geographically discrete groups onto the people actually being affected by this trade ban (Iranian developers). That is definitively a racist thing to do, and it has no place on a forum specifically about tech. Literally nobody asked you if you think it's actually cool & good that this happened for your own political reasons, but the reasons you went ahead and gave are really telling about your opinions of other people.
Racism should never be allowed a foothold in any community, and in this case I refuse to let Islamophobic dog-whistling go undisturbed in a thread about the effects of Islamophobia on a group of developers.
Both Hizbollah and Hamas are Iranian proxies. That's nothing new.
I never said that Iranians deserve to be punished. In my very first sentence in this thread I dealt with that. Please, stop putting words in my mouth when I took pains to clarify from the get go.
You're intentionally misrepresenting me in order to lob ad hominems.
Pointing out the genocidal intentions of the Ayatollahs and their puppets is not islamophobia. If it is, then Imam Mohammad Tawhidi, and everyone else resisting the dictators is an islamophobe.
This sounds a lot like you think excluding Iranian developers from a platform might cause regime change. Don't tell on yourself and then pretend like you didn't 😉
I'm not racistin your opening remarks, and then being racist is literally the definition of the dog-whistling that I'm calling you out on.
At no point have I insulted you, so that miss me with that ad-hom rhetoric.
And mate, again, literally nobody asked if you think that excluding Iranians from github was good or cool or necessary - you decided to go out of your way and start this. It would cost you nothing to have not done this.
Finally, and say it with me this time:
like can you imagine if your career was hindered because the last residential school was closed in like 1997? Seriously, your points are old and tired and yes, racist. Just don't do it here, Benny.
There has to be room in this discussion to disagree without leveling personal attacks.
For the second time, I ask you to please refrain.
It is not prudent to debate or argue racism - you’re implying that dehumanizing a group should be up for discussion, and you’re being told in the clearest possible terms that your take is unacceptable.
You want to do that clapping thing again, or are you cool with leaving it be?
P.S. I have not ‘levelled personal attacks’ upon anyone in this thread 😘
I'm not going to get into the modern politics, but I did want to address some of the claims regarding the internet's inception.
While the US did make the specific technological advance that we now call "the internet," democracy did not play much if a part in it.
The internet was born out of a US department of defense project called ARPANET in the 70s and 80s. In other words, the foundational technology of the internet was a military project from the Cold War era. It just so happened that educational institutions found it useful and it grew from there, due to its decentralized nature.
But the history of the internet goes back much, much farther than that, because it's the culmination of millennia of technological and mathematic advancements.
In fact, were it not for the autocratic theocracies of the Middle East during Islamic Golden Age of the 8th through 14th centuries, we wouldn't have the foundational mathematics of algebra and calculus needed to create computers and the internet.
In short: technology transcends governments.
@dyl I appreciate your attempt at reaching Benny, but they seemed to come into the conversation with an axe to grind. I'm not Iranian, but thanks for your empathy
We the people have nothing against each other but unfortunately we are being defined by the actions of our governments.
God willing, soon we'll take the train from Tel Aviv to Tehran and back to visit each other.
There would be definitely a train but from Tehran to Jerusalem, capital of Palestine, when Palestinians got back all the occupied lands and became a united entity under UN act ;)
And for you my colleague: Stop writing further toxic comments under a pure public awareness post. Get some coffee and rest your mind while committing your next lines of code.
I hope that this news mobilizes developers to get involved in the discussion. This is not a situation with an easy answer, and it needs to be elevated so that we don't let it get swept away as we move past this news cycle.
Here's another discussion going on right now as well:
Github Must Be a Free Platform
Milad Nekofar ・ Jul 26 '19 ・ 1 min read
I really appreciate you getting involved in this discussion. It's a long shot and it may not even happen but the least they can do is give us access to download our private repositories.
I totally agree with you dear friend In the text above
I am a strong advocate of the
3-2-1 Rule of Backups, which is: At least three (3) backup copies total, in at least two (2) different formats (hard drive, optical media, thumb drive, etc.) with at least one (1) backup being stored off-premises, whatever that means for your specific situation (cloud storage/remote repo, at work/home/school, safety deposit box, etc.)
As far as I am concerned, if it is not backed up 3-2-1 it might as well not exist at all, because when it's gone, it's gone.
The at least's in that formula strongly encourages doing more than the minimum, especially in whatever area(s) you feel might be the greatest risk, whether that be location, form, or just sheer number of copies, or all of the above.
Just make sure you develop a naming/version numbering system that allows you to quickly identify the latest copy of the resource, so you may be sure your backups are the latest versions (along with normal version control operations, in order to be able to restore some prior versions as needed as well.)
Any advice on how to automatically copy those repositories across several providers?
Having automatically up-to-date copies of whole repositories doesn't sound like anything fun to setup.
GitHub actions sound like something quite suitable for this
Yo DEVs! I'm a backend dev and open source advocate, Cuban by birth, and currently living in NorthEast Cuba. A few weeks ago, in one of the Telegram channel when mostly of the FOSS advocates of the Island, gather to share knowledge, projects, questions, or simple 'how is your day?', We made a curated list of all the open source projects in GitHub by now. Here's the link: Cuban Open Sourcers
By now, some of those contributors already have the notification of thier account to be restricted, the rest of us are expecting it soon.
Now Github joins SlackHQ, Docker, Dell, Gitlab, and many other companies or online services we have restricted due to US laws.
This is a bad news for all the Cuban devs, and for the other fellows devs of the countries affected as well. We really hope this could be solved.
With all of the controversy at NPM sparking new, decentralized alternatives such as entropic, we should really start discussing how to start federating our own git repos as well.
Centralizing resources like our code on any platform is incredibly volatile - in this case, Microsoft made a business decision to cut off Iranian users without warning to avoid fines.
No matter where you stand on the subject of ethics, we can only ever rely on any for-profit company to work for the interests of their shareholders. The catch is, entire swaths of our community will only be welcome to use cornerstone services of the web at the whim of people in power who have proven themselves to be racist, negligent, and a force of net harm towards certain communities.
The people at GitHub have worked tirelessly (and invested in a ton of PR) to present themselves as arbiters of free and open source software - but as long as they are centralized, we can never be sure of the fact that this won’t happen due to a new whim of some local authority. For the sake of the entire open source community, we can do a lot better.
I am really socked... Just added my contribution. I'll do my bests for this to change, github should be for everyone, without discrimination.
Thanks. Apparently repos made by restricted users isn't making it on the trending list.
My pleasure. About the trending list, it's not only that. I think that the algorithm for the trending repos has been changed, without any update from Github, a week ago I sent them an e-mail to explain what is changed to the community, never got a reply about it.
How I know it? Repositories with 5-10 stars are shown in the list and some of my own repos with 20-30 per day don't. The order of listing is also changed, it doesn't order by the highest to lowest number of stars anymore.
I don't know whats happened after the microsoft's acquisition and I am not even a guy who ever hated Microsoft.
Αnd now I hear this about users got ban because of a country they are living on. I am really disappointed and angry in the same time.
I appreciate the support. BTW, it's not based on where you live, it's been confirmed that it's soely based on your nationality.
And how do they determine your nationality!?
(I don't think I've stated mine.)
I'm very interested to know how too.
To complete the picture, I'm linking this thread by Nat Friedman (CEO of GitHub):
To sum up a couple of highlights:
A very unethical step by GitHub. If they continue to involve politics,it will have bad business consequences for GitHub . That's insane.
Lol, what?) I am not sure about their existing if they continued to provide their service to terrorist countries
1 Because CNN declares somebody terrorist for political reasons doesn't mean one is actually terrorist
2 These people were using GitHub for ages,how many people they killed via code that you can go and check how that code fires bullets
3 One should be rationale not like going with wind flow,media and politics should not be mixed with all things
4 Imagine you are somebody who makes living by writing code and not actually a terrorist,how would you feel? You of course cannot feel the pain otherwise you would not have put up such stupid comment
5 People like you are in face real terrorists who have no sane minds, somebody like you was there in GitHub management who took this decision
6 It still makes sense to follow county rules which GitHub did but calling those who make living by writing code and growing their children and families is absolutely unethical and insane.
7 Your comment showed your thinking level and personality so I wouldn't expect sane or good comments developing in that mind and coming out from that mouth.
I doubt that. It's not Github who said "eh just block Iran lulw". I'm sure they didn't want to do that at all, but if you're going to ignore the laws of the country in which you're doing the business, it will fall down very quickly. And since Github is not a non-profit organization, I guess it would cost them less to block Iran rather than get kicked off of U.S. That sounds horrible, but that's how it works.
Well, I don't watch CNN, so you are wrong from beginning. If they develop calmly in their country with terrorist government, it means, that they support it(developing nuclear weapon etc)So, why do they use enemy's service? I'd like companies be even more tough on things like this.
Remarks. By support I mean no physicals, I mean mental support of ideology and doings. And I think it is wrong and stupid ban people from Iran, who live and commit from other countries for many ages
If it's a criteria US develops nuclear weapons as well. It's always easier to stick labels than work on the problems themselves.
So your trust to Iran government is the same with USA?)
Sorry, developing nuclear weapons is the criteria you provided for being a terrorist state, not my idea.
Terrorist government developing nuclear is the criteria, don't manipulate
MFW people on Twitter and DEV call GitHub "insane" because they won't break federal law.
This whole situation is stupid. I doubt the Iranian government is going to be persuaded by this, not to mention the hypocrisy and lack of ethics from the government mandating this sanctions. But... most people would do the same thing if they were in the GH compliance officer's shoes. The whole reason corrupt regimes exist is because most people aren't willing to go to jail so that someone they've never met can access a web page.
I always thought developer community is one place where you are judged by your contribution instead of your ethinicity, gender, race e.t.c. Really feel bad that you have to go through this. There is no point arguing with people who think it's sane. Regarding every countries merit, just read news and you will find almost every country have history of atrocities against others. It's sad when open source community is divided on this. I hope this get sorted soon
This kind of banning based on compliance with US laws remains unethical and must be denounced (and resisted) by the community of developers and tech professionnals. Github response that it is only complying with US laws is not good enough. Companies as well as individuals have no obligation to obey unjust laws. If they choose to obey without questionning these laws, it means they are consciously adhering to these unethical policies. Companies have under national laws and international laws the obligation to respect human rights. It may be argued that this banning of individuals based on their ethnicity or their country of origin is violating some people's human rights. These US based companies could resist complying based on these consequences. If they choose not to do so, it means they are consciously subscribing to these questionable policies. What strikes is that these companies have greatly relied on open source software development and have drawn a great deal of profit from open source software development that have seen developers from around the world contribute to products such as docker, git, linux, java, etc... And now, some of these people are being collectively excluded by the same companies that have striven on free circulation of code and knowledge. This is simply unacceptable. It is all the more unacceptable that this is being used to settle political rivalries. Developers and Tech professionals should unite to resist these trends.
I intellectually understand why the company is doing this, but it definitely seems like they're throwing Iranian devs under the bus instead of expending some effort to figure out how they can be accommodated. This is a bad look for GitHub.
Github has no say in any of this all they can do is comply with trade bans. If Github was still doing business in Iran they'd be fined.
You know, I feel for you since I also come from a very difficult country as well, it's easy for others to tell us to "overthrow" our authoritarian governments/dictatorships and restore peace when it reality it's not as simple and the political actions taken by other countries to pressure them out will always end up affecting the population in one way or another.
Sometimes industries, without wanting to have to comply. I wouldn't take Github's actions personal at all, they're trying to stay inside the law. I'm sure this doesn't only affects the tech industry but also other ones.
Does it suck to be in the middle of the mess? oh yeah it does! but the best we can do is to accept and try to look for the positives and opportunities when a bad situation happens, because we can't control it and we can't change it. Is it a very cliche advice? probably, but it's the one that has kept me going these past few years.
Hopefully things get better over there soon <3
This is terrible. That's why I hate politics! It divides people while it should unite. Stared the repo.
Can anyone suggest any alternatives to GitHub? GitLab is also a US company, so there is no point in switching to it. Maybe BitBucket? It's a part of Atlassian products and Atlassian is Australian company.
GitLab is open source, you can host it yourself, so maybe the best solution would be creating a self hosted GitLab in a country that isn't subject to all this nonsense. I wish Linode weren't an American company.
AFAIU it has nothing to do with the location of the company, but with whether that company does business with the US.
So, all companies are affected. Only non-commercial stuff isn't.
That's really sad! it'll hurt none but the open source community
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