Coding Mass Destruction

2 minute read Enclosure Published

GitHub's new policy on the use of its services for the creation of WMDs.

Gitea announced just last week was now live and accepting user registrations while the Gitea development team prepares for their eventual move off GitHub. I was excited to see this as, just a few days prior, I sent some encouragement after myself leaving GitHub. Then I signed-up.

As a fan of the post-apocalyptic game series Fallout I took the opportunity to snag the username I wanted and threw up a VaultBoy avatar I cropped from the enclosed image using the image editor in EMUI 9 on my Android phone not at all aware of the foreshadowing I was casting over the remainder of my night.

And though I’ve been using High Tea to run my own private Gitea instance at for almost 8 months now that doesn’t mean I’ll be squatting on the username. In fact, I’m greatly looking forward to collaborating on code with other early adopters of Gitea – the kinds of developers who don’t have a PRO badge next to their corporatized GH account names and the kind of people who don’t have a face shot at all because they value their privacy online.

Seems remaining private online isn’t the only reason to leave GitHub these days, however. And this is where the foreshadowing comes in. Not long after signing up for my new Gitea account I spent some time reviewing GitHub’s policies curious how things might be changing since I left and ran across the following new policy last night, posted just a couple of days ago:

You acknowledge and agree that the Products are restricted from being used for the design or development of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or missile technology without the prior permission of the U.S. government.

GitHub Enterprise Agreement, General Provisions, 8.3 Export

The policy, committed by Meena Polich a day ago, seems to have changed already based on the dates shown in the overall policy documents on GitHub.

Honestly though it doesn’t even matter as I wouldn’t want to be caught dead – or alive, for that matter – working alongside 31M1 developers worldwide, any of whom I thought might be using the same software to create WMDs even with permission from GitHub or a government playing games with a nuclear peace treaty.

Would you, VaultBoy?

  1. As of November 2018 per GitHub. Retrieved 2019-03-17. ↩︎

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