07.28.19

Reactions to Microsoft Turning GitHub Into a Racist Government’s Censorship Platform (Censorship of FOSS)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Censorship

Summary: Censorship of Free/Open Source software or denial of access to it (based on superficial criteria such as country of origin) will doom GitHub; perhaps this is what Microsoft wants anyway

YESTERDAY we explained why Microsoft had begun its latest attack on the four freedoms put forth by Richard Stallman.

The US government’s imperialism/racism has been fully adopted by Microsoft, which helps the mass surveillance for similar reasons. Citing one of the earlier reports about it, LWN wrote some hours ago: “ZDNet reports on GitHub’s blocking of users from Crimea and Iran.”

Wait, it’ll get yet worse.

The Iran ban explained (the earlier of these bans):

GitHub’s importance to software developers can’t be overstated. In the space of a decade it has become central to millions of people’s professional lives. For it to be taken away, then, must be incredibly hard to take. Not only does it cut you off from your work, it also cuts your identity as a developer.

But that’s what appears to have happened today to Hamed Saeedi, an Iranian software developer.

Writing on Medium, Saeedi revealed that he today received an email from GitHub explaining that his account has been restricted “due to U.S. trade controls law restrictions.” As Saeedi notes, he is not a paying GitHub customer, only using their free services, which makes the fact he has been clocked by the platform surprising.

In the developer’s own words:

First, some background: I am a software developer based in Iran and I’m on GitHub since 2012. In January 2019 when they announced that GitHub free includes unlimited private repositories, I completely moved to GitHub.

Everything was fine and I was happy. Although I participated in Hacktoberfest and they failed to send my t-shirt due to “International embargoes” but I thought OK, at least I can use their free services, right? Wrong!

An hours-old article about expansion of the ban to Crimea:

A developer in the Eastern European region of Crimea has found himself at the receiving end of limitations to his GitHub account due to trade control regulations imposed by the US.

Anatoliy Kashkin uses GitHub services to host his website and a game management tool that he maintains, called GameHub. Earlier this week he received a notification about US-imposed trade sanctions affecting his access to the account and resources.

Additional tweets on the subject:

This can’t possibly be good for GitHub, but it helps Microsoft ‘prove’ its loyalty to the Pentagon and to the Trump regime. Can that help them get “JEDI” (a project worth more than the purchase price of GitHub)?

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2019/07/28/microsoft-censorship-of-foss/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Roger said,

    July 28, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Gravatar

    You’re wrong to blame Microsoft for this: gitlab and sourceforge have imposed the same restrictions, presumably under pressure from the US government.

    FOSS development projects need a repository outside the USA, or several mirrored repositories outside the USA. The software development community can’t allow international cooperation to be crippled every time some government somewhere has a spat with some other government.

    Providing such a facility isn’t for the faint-of-heart, though. US agents will try to sabotage it, cripple it with DDoS attacks, and cut off its funding, as they tried to do with Wikileaks.

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 17, 2021



  2. Tolerating the Intolerant and Lacking Tolerance for Opposing Views

    The person who shouted...



  3. Letter of Support for Richard Stallman - Doing Better in Community

    "How do you support someone you’ve known for years who is unfairly attacked and publicly maligned?"



  4. Richard Stallman on Rejecting Workplace Bureaucracy in the 1970s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what inspired him to get involved in non-software matters



  5. Renata Avila: Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman

    Reproduced from the original



  6. Breaking News: EDPS Admits That It is Powerless to Investigate Claims of GDPR Non-compliance at the EPO

    Nobody is truly in charge at the EDPS (and in Europe at large); they say EPO is "company" and all one can do is kindly ask the EPO itself to obey the law and stop outsourcing European data to American military contractors



  7. Links 17/4/2021: Linux 5.13 in Sight, Holland Warming up to Free Software

    Links for the day



  8. Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

    Republished "In Support of Richard Stallman"



  9. [Meme] Linux Foundation Can't Use Linux

    Two examples from yesterday, highlighting what a bunch of hypocrites run the marketing operation now disguised as ‘research’; Jason Perlow from Microsoft signed/published this newsletter highlight from the failing “Linux” Foundation — a foundation that calls itself “Linux” while its newsletter is still hosted by Microsoft Windows+proprietary IIS and this latest report is made with proprietary software on a Mac



  10. [Meme] Haters Gonna Hate, Don't Apologise to a Libelling Mob

    As was already pointed out before, you cannot appease a mob by talking back to it, certainly not by issuing an apology (putting oneself in a position of weakness)



  11. What the EPO Has 'Normalised' in Europe...

    Under the cover of 'new normal', Europe's second-largest institution crushes the law and crushes its own staff



  12. Lots of Information in Sight, But Minimal Distraction

    How I keep focused on reading and writing whilst at the same time keeping an eye on important incidents, such as DDOS attacks and urgent messages coming in



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  14. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  15. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  16. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  17. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  18. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  19. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  20. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  21. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  22. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  23. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  25. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  26. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  27. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  28. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  30. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts