ACT Fibernet unblocks GitHub content domain

Software developers were inconvenienced when an earlier Madras High Court order directed Internet service providers to block the GitHub content domain

January 10, 2023 09:43 pm | Updated 09:43 pm IST

After keeping a significant portion of 9.75 million active users in India of the Microsoft-run GitHub on tenterhooks by blocking access to parts of the website for over 20 days, leading Indian Internet service provider, Atria Convergence Technologies Limited which provides Fibre To The Home (FTTH) under the brand name ACT Fibernet, unblocked the website on January 10. 

ACT Fibernet had blocked, a website that software developers use to view or access code, as well as other user-uploaded assets on the GitHub platform, such as images and datasets in a raw format. GitHub is an open-source platform used by developers to host their codes and share them. 

“It has been informed that the judge has dismissed the legal suit as withdrawn. Hence, the site is being unblocked,” an official spokesperson of ACT Fibernet told The Hindu

The Hindu was able to access the aforementioned URL on an ACT Fibernet connection. The site was inaccessible until as recently as Monday. 

Karan Saini, a Bengaluru-based security technologist at the Centre for Internet and Society, said that the earlier Madras High Court order directing Internet service providers to block the GitHub content domain can only be viewed as a gross curtailment of individuals’ ability to freely express themselves through computer code. 

Mr. Saini explained the inconvenience faced by developers. “Lots of people use GitHub’s infrastructure to host various types of files such as media, datasets, or scripts for apps and services they operate. In one case, a developer was creating a wallpaper app, that stores various wallpaper image files which would be delivered to a user on GitHUb’s infra[structure]. With the site blocked, the app was rendered useless,” he said. 

In the case of a report of any infringement of content on Github, Mr. Saini said that, ideally, a take-down request should have been issued, rather than blocking the whole content domain altogether. 

Many developers and users of the platform had complained that the GitHub URL was not loading on JioFiber connections too.

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