Microsoft’s GitHub blocks Catalan protest app


Microsoft-owned GitHub has blocked Spanish users from accessing an app designed to help Catalan independence protesters.

It follows a takedown request by the Spanish military police.

Tsunami Democràtic used GitHub to develop tools to co-ordinate protest action, including an encrypted communication app.

The group helped to organise pro-independence rallies at Barcelona airport, which saw dozens of flights cancelled.

Protestors demonstrating against the imprisonment of nine Catalan separatist leaders have copied tactics devised by demonstrators in Hong Kong, including blocking airports and using encrypted messaging.

This is not the first time a company has removed an app linked to protests.

Earlier this month, Apple removed an app which protesters in Hong Kong used to track police movements, claiming it violated the company’s rules.

Tsunami Democràtic told TechCrunch that users of Apple’s iPhone can’t yet download the app because the “politics of the App Store is very restrictive”.

The app is currently only available as a raw Android file, and users cannot download it via the Google Play store either.

The charge here as I understand it is that this app permits people to communicate with each other without allowing state forces to eavesdrop.

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