Earlier today GitHub blocked access from Iran citing sanctions. Sanctions have a time and place but make very little sense when it comes to GitHub. The entire idea of GitHub is to spread open source which aligns closely with democratic ideals and principles. It’s one thing to hurt a country economically to drive change but a whole other to prevent their population from accessing information.
Totalitarian countries want to control access to information and the way to fight that is to make it as easy as possible to make it available and this move is the exact opposite of what should happen. GitHub does an incredible job of making information accessible and that should be encouraged. Major changes come from people pushing back against existing authority and they need to have hope to do so. Providing a glimpse of another world is how we do that and it’s disappointing that this avenue is being shut down.
I’m not oblivious to the fact that GitHub is only relevant for technologists but I worry about the approach we’re taking and the signals it’s sending.