GitHub blocks developers in countries facing US trade sanctions.

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GitHub (owned by Microsoft) is the world’s largest software development platform that provides hosting for software development version control using Git. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 for $7.5 billion and has recently started blocking developers in countries facing US trade sanctions.

For example, last week Github restricted the account of Anatoliy Kashkin, a 21-year-old Russian citizen who lives in Crimea. He was told his GitHub account had been restricted “due to US trade controls”.

The correspondence from GitHub advised Kashkin of GitHub’s US trade control policy – listing Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as countries facing US sanctions. In addition to his website now showing a 404 error, Kashkin also can’t access his previous work.

GitHub’s website does advise that “Users are responsible for ensuring that the content they develop and share on GitHub.com complies with the U.S. export control laws, including the EAR (Export Administration Regulations) and the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)” and that “The cloud-hosted service offering available at Github.com has not been designed to host data subject to the ITAR and does not currently offer the ability to restrict repository access by country. If you are looking to collaborate on ITAR- or other export-controlled data, we recommend you consider GitHub Enterprise Server, GitHub’s on-premises offering.”

Besides banning accounts for individuals in Crimea, GitHub has also restricted developers in Iran.

If you want to ensure your company is in compliance with the Export Administration Regulations and the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), contact experienced compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

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Current Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC today that the US may consider other measures, such as placing compliance officers at ZTE. The compliance officers would report back to the Department of Commerce.

Background:
The Department of Commerce banned ZTE from purchasing hardware and software from U.S. manufacturers because ZTE was found to sell American parts to Iran and North Korea. The Commerce department prohibits the sale of US goods to North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Iran and Cuba. ZTE is most commonly known in the US for their smart phones but ZTE also manufactures telecomunications equipment.

Check back here for the latest news as they develop.

And if you have any export controls or export compliance issues – contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.