Software hosting platform Github last week removed the APK from a protest organization app, used by the Tsunami Democràtic, at the request of the court. APK is an abbreviation for a file format for Android apps. Tsunami Democràtic is a group that advocates Catalan independence.
Since Microsoft more often censorship
Microsoft took over the platform in June 2018 and this is not the first time that there has been censorship. Developers from Iran, Syria and Crimea have been blocked from using GitHub.
And this can become a problem for the programmers and developers who work on cryptocurrency. Just about every piece of code in the crypto world is on GitHub. Some developers see this as a problem, they are already thinking about an alternative.
“It only took a few months for Microsoft to destroy the GitHub culture and openness. What a shame, ”tweet Andreas Antonopoulos, author of Mastering Bitcoin.
It only took a few months for Microsoft to destroy GitHub culture and openness. Such a shame https://t.co/89nJmFpxmA
– Andreas ☮ ? ⚛ ⚖ ? ? ? ? ? (@aantonop) October 30, 2019
Microsoft can hinder development bitcoin
Antonopoulos pointed out that the underlying protocol, known as git, is decentralized, meaning that Microsoft cannot stop it at the touch of a button. But what he called the “collaboration platform” is still on GitHub. Yet it is the place where everyone discusses which pieces of code must be implemented and where requests are made to add new code.
“It would not surprise me if GitHub at a certain moment is blocking bitcoin developers from the platform,” he added.
A GitHub spokesperson responded that it is sometimes mandatory to go with the government to ensure that GitHub can continue to operate. The spokesperson said to decrypt.co: “Although we may not always agree with those laws, we may have to block content if we receive a valid request from a government official. In this way, our users continue to have access to GitHub in that jurisdiction to collaborate and build software. ”
What alternatives does bitcoin have?
Last year, the Dutch developer Vladimir van der Laan tweeted that bitcoin must look for another place to live. This is in response to the acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft.
But if bitcoin has to move everything, where to?
An option is GitHub’s main competitor, GitLab. It is an open source project and has tools for self-hosting repositories, allowing teams to keep full control over their own projects.
A good example follows
Some cryptocurrencys have already been moved. Last year, Sia-cryptocurrency already migrated to GitLab.
“In recent years, GitHub has become a kind of backbone for open source projects. This is ironic, since GitHub itself is a closed source and centralized, “said David Vorick, CEO of Sia, in a blog post at the time. “GitLab, on the other hand, has aligned itself much more with the true open source philosophy.”
Alternatively, a version of the Bitcoin repository is available on Tor, managed by van der Laan himself. Tor is an anonymous communication network, accessible through the Tor browser.
Decentralization is worth fighting
You should see Microsoft’s actions on GitHub as a learning opportunity: everyone working on decentralized platforms must prevent them from becoming dependent on a central party.
And that is worth fighting.
Sir Tim Berners Lee of the Web Foundation agrees. On October 29, the internet turned 50 and Berners Lee says that the freedom of the internet is constantly being undermined and that we have to fight for the web we want.