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Russian Github and free internet in Russia

Almost all software developers know what Githubis, including those who resides and works in Russia. Github belongs to Microsoft – the huge international company, having its presence even in Russia. The Russian ministry of economic development (MinEc) has proposed to create the Russian analogue of Github, in a case if Github would be blocked in Russia. Certainly such idea needs significant funding to be realized. Certainly MinEc has proposed to allocate in state budget the funding for realizing of this idea – the Russian Github.

The purpose of idea is to create some kind of “repository for open code” and the MinEc believes it is worth about 2 billion Roubles. Such idea has risen allegedly because of fear of new sanctions. Why new sanctions should be applied to the Russia it is “the other question”.

There is one little and very interesting detail. It is supposed that the Russian analogue of Github would not be popular among developers, but “it should secure the availability of storage for open code developed at the Russian state’s account”. The Russian government did not approved realization of this idea, so far.

But the Russian Github should contain also the most popular and useful software copied from “foreign open source”, apparently including Github. The Russian Github should be created very soon, the term when it should be operable is 2021, and in 2024 there should be five such “open repositories” in Russia, as it is supposed.

Professionals and stakeholders skeptically assess the possibility of blocking Github in Russia, especially for software developers. Telegram is also blocked in Russia, but such fact did not preclude the CEO of Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor Alexandr Zharov to register his own account in Telegram in 2019.

The other stakeholders believe the Russian analogue of Github would not be popular among the developers. The Github is popular and necessary for developers thanks to community, which created Github. In other words the people have created Github, not the state or administrative authorities.

Therefore it would be very difficult to create Russian Github at the behest of Russian authorities. The stakeholders believe the more important is to develop competitive resources and libraries, live communities around the platforms, but not to copy Github or similar platforms.

The other “unexpected” is free internet access in Russia to “socially necessary” web-resources. The Russian president has proposed to provide free-of-charge internet access to web-sites of state authorities and public platforms where the state services are provided.

The Russian ministry of digital development has endorsed this idea and also promised to think about free internet access to social networks, messengers and search engines. This idea is discussed and it is necessary to work out the mechanism of compensation for telecom companies, – said the press secretary of the ministry.

What internet services are to be socially necessary is not defined, so far. The question is what will be included in such white lists of web-resources with free internet access. First of all among such resources could be the web-site of state services (when people can receive certain state services), the web-site of the Russian president, government, state duma, ministries and other Russian authorities. But some Russian mass media have published to preliminary list of web-site the people could visit free of charge. This list includes e-mail services, Russian popular social services, Yandex and some mass media.

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