GitHub Starts Blocking the Accounts of Russian Banks & developers

GitHub Blocks Accounts of Two Large Russian Banks Amid US Sanctions

As of now, this move has mainly impacted two large banks reportedly Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, and some individual developers.

GitHub has started suspending Russian-registered users’ accounts as part of the blocking sanctions imposed by the USA. According to Russian IT blog Habr, which quoted a user nicknamed Veratam, Russian financial institutions’ accounts such as Sber and Alfa-Bank have been blocked.

As of 15th April 2022, dozens of accounts have been blocked, including those of individual developers. Some of the blocked accounts include:

This means accounts of Sberbank-Technology, Sberbank-ai-lab, and alfa-laboratory have been blocked.

Individual Accounts Also Blocked

Some individual accounts have also been blocked, including researcher Sergey Bobrov, who confirmed that his personal GitHub account was blocked. However, at the time of publishing this article, Bobrov’s account was restored.

Additionally, a few Russian users also claimed that their accounts had been suspended, and they haven’t yet received a response from GitHub support. Some users have received a response from GitHub explaining that their account was suspended because it appeared to be “based in a U.S sectioned region.”

GitHub’s Email to Some Affected users

The US Imposed Sanctions on Russia

On 6th April 2022, the US Treasury imposed full blocking sanctions against Russia’s largest private banks, Alfa-Bank and Sber. The sanctions include imposing a ban on companies/citizens from the US to do business with Sber and Alfa-Bank and freezing the assets of these banks.

What Happens when GitHub Blocks an Account?

It must be noted that when a corporate account gets blocked, repositories access remains for several hours, but personal accounts are blocked immediately. Habr noted that some users had received notifications from GitHub explaining that their accounts were being operated from a sanctioned region.

Moreover, a developer can file an appeal to assess if the company is located in Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Crimea, and Iran.

When a corporate account is blocked, it appears as flagged, whereas when a personal account is blocked, it is marked as suspended, and Pull Requests and Issues to other repositories quickly disappear.

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