In compliance with US sanctions, GitHub had to restrict access to private repositories and paid accounts in Iran, Syria and Crimea.

GitHub CEO Nat Friedman explained on Twitter that “the restrictions are based on place of residence and location, not on nationality or heritage. If someone was flagged in error, they can fill out a form to get the restrictions lifted on their account within hours.”

Travelling to the said territories will also lead to access being restricted. It can be reinstated once you have left the country under sanctions and submitted the appeal.

To identify specific accounts subject to restrictions under US trade control sanctions, the platform will use IP addresses and payment history.

Repositories used for open source projects were not affected. Developers with restricted repos have the option of making them public to restore their access.

“It is painful for me to hear how trade restrictions have hurt people. We have gone to great lengths to do no more than what is required by the law, but of course people are still affected. GitHub is subject to US trade law, just like any company that does business in the US.”

GitHub CEO Nat Friedman