The internet hosting and software development subsidiary of Microsoft, Github, has partially unbanned the Tornado Cash repositories following the recent sanctions enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). Github’s decision follows the U.S. Treasury updating the public, noting that U.S. persons can copy, view, and discuss the open-source code. Github’s partial reinstatement lets repository visitors look at the Tornado Cash codebase in read-only mode.
Github Restores Tornado Cash Depositories in ReadOnly Mode
Github is a platform that allows developers to build software and web hosting. The service has partially restored the Tornado cash open source code. This led to a lot of discussion in the crypto community. On August 8, 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department’s regulatory watchdog OFAC sanctioned the ethereum mixer Tornado Cash and several ethereum addresses associated with the platform. When OFAC’s sanctions were published, third-party platforms started to take action and one open source programmer was banned from Github.
“My Github account was just suspended,” the software developer Roman Semenov saidIt was at that time. “Is writing an open source code illegal now?” Additionally, the Microsoft-owned Github removed the Tornado Cash codebase repositories, and no one could access the code via the software development platform.
After much criticism from crypto communities, the U.S. Treasury provided an update to the public on September 13th, 2022. It included information about U.S. individuals who associate with Tornado Cash. U.S. individuals who have transacted using the ethereum mixture application before August 8 are exempt from sanctions. If this was the case, and a U.S. person still held funds on the application they can “request a specific license from OFAC to engage in transactions involving the subject virtual currency.”
OFAC Allows US Citizens to See, Discuss and Teach about Sanctioned Platforms, Open-Source Code, Written Publications
OFAC’s frequently asked questions (FAQ) update also discusses open source code tied to Tornado Cash. “U.S. persons would not be prohibited by U.S. sanctions regulations from copying the open-source code and making it available online for others to view, as well as discussing, teaching about, or including open-source code in written publications,” the Treasury’s regulatory department noted.
After the FAQ update a little over ten days back, Preston Van Loon (Ether developer) reportedGithub partially restored the Tornado Cash codebase, and had unbanned contributors to that codebase. “Github has unbanned the Tornado Cash organization and contributors on their platform,” the developer said. “It looks like everything is in ‘read only’ mode, but that is progress from an outright ban. I still encourage Github to reverse all actions and return the repositories to their former status,” Van Loon added.
Do you have any thoughts about Github’s decision to partially reinstate Tornado Cash repositories in part? Comment below and let us know how you feel about the subject.
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