GitHub and Trade Controls
In this article
GitHub.com, GitHub Enterprise Server, and the information you upload to either product may be subject to trade control regulations, including under the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (the EAR).
GitHub’s vision is to be the global platform for developer collaboration, no matter where developers reside. We take seriously our responsibility to examine government mandates thoroughly to be certain that users and customers are not impacted beyond what is required by law. This includes keeping public repositories services, including those for open source projects, available and accessible to support personal communications involving developers in sanctioned regions.
To comply with U.S. trade control laws, GitHub recently made some required changes to the way we conduct our services. As U.S. trade controls laws evolve, we will continue to work with U.S. regulators about the extent to which we can offer free code collaboration services to developers in sanctioned markets. We believe that offering those free services supports U.S. foreign policy of encouraging the free flow of information and free speech in those markets. For more insight on our approach and how sanctions affect global software collaboration, read our blog on sanctions.
Although we've provided the following information below for your convenience, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your use of GitHub's products and services complies with all applicable laws and regulations, including U.S. export control laws.
Under our Terms of Service, users may only access and use GitHub.com in compliance with applicable law, including U.S. export control and sanctions laws.
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 and the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). 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.
U.S. trade control laws restrict what GitHub.com services can be made available to users in certain countries and territories. GitHub may allow users in or ordinarily resident in countries and territories subject to U.S. sanctions to access certain free GitHub.com services for personal communications in accordance to authorizations issued by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC). Persons in or ordinarily resident in these countries and territories are prohibited from using IP proxies, VPNs, or other methods to disguise their location when accessing GitHub.com services, and may only use GitHub.com for non-commercial, personal communications.
Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and other denied or blocked parties under U.S. and other applicable law are prohibited from accessing or using GitHub.com. Additionally, users may not use GitHub.com for or on behalf of such parties, including the Governments of sanctioned countries. Furthermore, GitHub.com may not be used for purposes prohibited under applicable export control laws, including prohibited end uses described in 17 CFR 744.
GitHub Enterprise Server
GitHub Enterprise Server is a self-hosted virtual appliance that can be run within your own datacenter or virtual private cloud. As such, GitHub Enterprise Server can be used to store ITAR- or other export-controlled information, although, end users are nonetheless responsible for ensuring compliance with the ITAR and other applicable export controls.
GitHub Enterprise Server is a commercial, mass-market product and has been assigned the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) of
5D992.c and may be exported to most destinations with no license required (NLR).
GitHub Enterprise Server may not be sold to, exported, or re-exported to any country listed in Country Group E:1 in Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR or to the Crimea region of Ukraine. This list currently contains Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, but is subject to change.
Frequently asked questions
On which countries and territories are U.S. government sanctions applied?
Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
How is GitHub ensuring that folks not living in and/or having professional links to the sanctioned countries and territories still have access or ability to appeal?
In the rare instance that an account is affected unintentionally or in error, we have an appeal process to address such instances.
If an individual user or organization administrator believes that they have been flagged in error, then that user has the opportunity to appeal the flag by providing verification information to GitHub. If GitHub receives sufficient information to verify that the user or organization is not affiliated with a U.S.-sanctioned jurisdiction or otherwise restricted by U.S. economic sanctions, then the flag will be removed. Please see individual account appeals request form and organizational account appeals request form.
Will traveling in these regions be impacted?
Travel in these regions may impact your account status, but availability may be reinstated once you are outside of the sanctioned country or territory upon submitting a successful individual account appeals request.
What is available and not available?
Availability in U.S. sanctioned countries and territories will be restricted, however certain GitHub services may be available for free individual and free organizational GitHub.com accounts. 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. The restriction also includes suspended access to private repository services and paid services (such as availability of private organizational accounts and GitHub Marketplace services). For paid organizational accounts, users may have limited access to their public repositories, which have been downgraded to archived read-only repositories.
How do you define these specific users?
If GitHub determines that a user or customer is located in a region that is subject to U.S. trade control restrictions, or a user is otherwise restricted under U.S. economic sanctions, then the affiliated account has been restricted to comply with those legal requirements. The determination of user and customer location to implement these legal restrictions are derived from a number of sources, including IP addresses and payment history. Nationality and ethnicity are not used to flag users for sanctions restrictions.
How are organization accounts impacted?
If an organization is based out of, or the key individuals or membership of an organization shows sufficient ties to, a sanctioned territory or country, or if the organization otherwise appears to be subject to U.S. economic sanctions, then the organization account and the affiliated owner account will be restricted. The restriction includes suspended access to paid services (such as availability of private organizational accounts and GitHub Marketplace services). For paid organizational accounts, users may have access to their public repositories, which have been downgraded to archived read-only repositories.
Can trade-restricted users’ private repositories be made public?
Free individual account users can make restricted private repositories public, for personal communications only, and not for commercial purposes. Users can do this by navigating to the repository settings tab and clicking the "make public" button. Once the repository is public, users have access to public repositories services. This action cannot be undone.
Can trade-restricted users access private repository data (e.g. downloading or deletion of repository data)?
Unfortunately, our understanding of the law does not give us the option to allow downloads or deletion of private repository content, until otherwise authorized by the U.S. government. We will strongly advocate, with U.S. regulators, for the right of trade-restricted users to secure the contents of their private repositories. We will also advocate for more availability of GitHub services for developers in sanctioned markets, and further underscore the importance of code collaboration in supporting personal communications for developers globally.