GitHub released its 2019Transparency Report(transparency report), mainly to inform the public of its user information disclosure and content deletion in 2019. In short, it describes how and to whom to disclose user information, and for what reasons to delete or block content. GitHub also said it has been promoting free expression by limiting content deletion as strictly as possible.
According to the report, the data that GitHub is required to process in 2019 mainly includes the following three categories:
Disclosure of user information required
National security letters and orders
Cross border data request
Government requests to delete or block user content
According to local law
According to GitHub's terms of service
Delete the content suspected of infringement
Deletion under DMCA
The court ordered the deletion of copyrighted content
The content shared by users on GitHub is different from that posted on social platforms such as instagram or twitter. The former is a platform for hosting and sharing software code. Developers can use each other's "content" (code) to modify or merge them. All of these behaviors conform to the spirit of open source. As a result, GitHub often receives legal requests from law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations, rather than civil litigants reporting harmful content.
But GitHub will be very cautious before responding to the request of disclosing user information or blocking content. According to Abby Vollmer, director of legal affairs of GitHub, nearly 96% of the requests received this year for disclosing user information come from law enforcement departments, while GitHub Information is only disclosed to third parties "when the corresponding legal requirements are met", which means that subpoenas, court orders or search warrants are necessary.
When it comes to requests to delete or block content that has been determined to be illegal, GitHub always checks whether the notice comes from an official government agency, whether the notice is issued by an official, and whether it provides a source that proves to be illegal before deleting the content. Finally, GitHub will block content only in jurisdictions where it is found to be illegal, not anywhere.
Another request to delete content may be for copyright reasons - by the copyright owner (not necessarily the government). Because most of the content on the GitHub platform is software code, in some cases, it may be copyrighted. But on the whole, only a small part of the platform (about one in 10000) is involved in the deletion according to the DMCA notification.
Although the proportion is small, the copyright issue is the long-standing "knot" of GitHub, and almost everyone can use the content on GitHub for free. In 2018, the EU will force all Internet content publishers to use content filters to detect copyright violations. In order to protect developers, GitHub allows users who have been pointed out to publish infringing content to submit a complaint. If it is wrong for the platform to delete the suspected infringing content, the deleted content will be recovered.
View the full contents of the report:https://github.blog/2020-02-20-2019-transparency-report/