Github block on US sanctioned users

yesterday github decided to restrict access to all the iranian users (and also from other US sanctioned countries ), basing not just on the IP but on the nationality, no matter they were living:

i think we should really think about moving to another more inclusive platform (gitlab?) or at least rework an addons website that allows us to point not just to github (maybe even to self-hosted repos) to be resilient to this kind of discriminating acts


Ohhh this is so shitty.
I am sorry for anyone that got blocked.

I agree that we should then start thinking about a different platform, or at least one that behaves as a backup/mirror. I have no idea how to start but I am quite sure that it would require a lot of work. Count with me for such.
No idea if gitlab is any better in this aspect. Who owns/controls gitlab?

for now gitlab is an indipendent company, you know, not owned by microsoft. But the code that runs gitlab is also open source, so you could host it on your own server (but i don’t know how much is difficult, never deployed anything on a server)

more infos —>

I want to slowly transition to host all my stuff on my website and then mirror things outside it, but i’m still in the early stages of that ( something like a self-hosted github would come later )

this also could be interesting, one of the first things that came to me after searching

ah sh*t, also gitlab is US based so it should be subject to the same laws of github

damn! even with it being open source?

Which servers are use for the OF site ? @arturo If these belong to a US based company, do they get affected by the same laws?

Certainly this move that Github just made will annoy a lot of people so probably it is a better idea to find a solution all together, rather than just us, here in the OF community.
I’ll take a look and see if I can find anything.

one of the reason for the ban was the money transaction between the US and the sanctioned nation, that happens when you have a non-free account, although even free accounts were blocked. So an open source service with some kind of extra paid features would be more subject to that law than a free (as in beer) closed source service.

I see. Eventhough, they blocked accounts based on nationality, which does not necessarily mean that the money came from a sanctioned Country. I understand that Github has to comply with the laws of the country where it is based as a company, but the way the have done this is a very bad and wrong one, not only from the idea of free and open stuff, but from a capitalist consumer-based perspective it is also done improperly. I have my personal portfolio hosted on github pages (which is a service I really like) but now I will look for something else, maybe just pay for some hosting, and move all my stuff there.
Beside, all of this I have not been able to research for alternatives to Github.
All the best

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ok, in the meanwhile i’m all for the “always own your platform”

<)    )╯Always
/    \

(    (>  Own
/    \

<)    )>  Your Platform
/    \

i could report here as soon as i setup my repos somewhere else

PS: this could be another self hosted solution:

Ha! :slight_smile: It´s true but not always possible until you really need to, like now.

It’s always possible, but not always easy, fast or bug free =P


I heard some web server company kindly host oF website for free. I found company logo named Rackspace at the bottom of official site. And it seems US company, meaning we need another server for git?

would the use of a VPN work as a (temporary) workaround?

nope, they were blocking accounts based on nationality, even of people living outside the sanctioned state (and also the IP shows that), also free accounts were blocked (so that no money transaction were needed)

i want to state that this is not just a technical problem, this is political

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i would love to do something about this but it would take weeks if not months of full time work to replicate all the infrastructure, so not sure where we could even start. i’ve always been reluctant every time we’ve relied on a corporation to host basic infrastructure but at some point it is almost unavoidable, and github was one of those cases. Now we depend so much on it that moving to something else seems almost impossible. The most plausible alternative, gitlab, belongs to IBM if i’m not mistaken? which doesn’t have exactly a very clean record either so to do something that would be at all useful we would need to move to our own servers.

In any case i would be willing to spend some of the few donations we are getting on a server outside the US to host the main site so people at least can access that if in the future rackspace does the same but mostly as a political statement since as you very well said this is what it is, a political problem not a technical one.


Are the current donations enough to pay for that and to cover what they are currently used to support? If not, how much is that gap? Perhaps we can do a push to fill that in, if money is the limiting factor.

the current donations are really low around 300€ per month, that does cover the costs for 1 server but not for everything else really. i don’t think it would be very ethical to use this as an excuse to ask for more funds though, since we’ve need funds before this happened and will keep needing them after paying for a server outside the US. we could mention it as one of the motives in a broader campaign to get more funding at some point but i wouldn’t feel comfortable getting more money only because of this

That is low!

Talking about funding is probably off topic for this thread and I hear you about being careful about how you package asking for funds.

I know a lot the people on here are freelance / using OF for art. But there are also agencies that use OF for production work. It would be good if more did monthly donations. I’ll use this as an excuse to ask if we can up our monthly donation or make a donation to support that.

Correct me if I am wrong, but reading a couple articles about it, as of now, people will still have access to GitHub pages and public repos, so would still have access to use OF and contribute to OF?

“This includes limited access to GitHub public repository services (such as access to GitHub Pages and public repositories used for open source projects), for personal communications only, and not for commercial purposes.”

Although of course it changes the tone and the culture, which is important.

now people have more access, but when it started they could not access issues, PR, or code even of their public repos:

Oh dear, thanks for pointing that out. I wasn’t aware the donations were that low. From now on for every project I launch using OF, I’ll be setting aside a proper percentage for the community.

All the core OF team members working on this full time are giving not just their full care and attention making sure the whole thing works as good as possible, but they’re also parting away with their valuable personal time.

Totally agree with you on this. Though some may be hobbyists using OF non-commercially, there are also many people like myself who survive mainly thru OF. I myself am currently making a project in OF set to launch within 2-4 months. I sure hope to get a good revenue from this project to finally be able to give back.