Keep it secret, keep it safe

Gitmask makes it easy to hide the true origins of your code on GitHub

Jane Elizabeth
© Shutterstock / smolaw

Sometimes, you just don’t want the world to know your commitment history. Gitmask brings more privacy options to GitHub with anonymous commits.

Anonymity is back in. From new ways to speak to your friends without Big Brother listening in, to the mysterious creator of bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto, it’s more important than ever to retain your privacy.

GitHub bills itself as a social coding platform. After all, it’s a community to code together. And sometimes, that together includes your boss. So, whether it’s a humorously lewd repo for directly injected CSS or the brotastic “do you even javascript?”, sometimes you just don’t want to have your real name attached to a project.


Enter Gitmask.

If you want to upload something to GitHub while maintaining a certain deniability, then Gitmask is probably easier than setting up another GitHub account and remembering to use that secondary SSH key.

Say you want to upload a bundle to bitcoin/bitcoin. All you need to do is one simple line of code:

curl -L -X PUT --upload-file commits.bundle 

And that’s it. That’s all you need to do.

Once you’ve pushed your code to Gitmask, it removes and replaces all embedded info from your commits like author names, email, and timestamps. Basically, anything and everything that could be used as an identifier.

Then, a pill request is made automatically to the upstream GitHub repository with your changes. However, now, the originating IP is Gitmask and the author is the anonymous (and highly productive!) Gitmask user account.

If you’re interested in a more circumspect GitHub experience, there’s always the Anonymous GitHub, which supports anonymous browsing of Github repositories for open-science code and data. And blind-reviews brings GitHub closer to the academic standard of a single-blind review by hiding the name of a pull request submitter, to help maintainers break bias habits and take a look at the code on its own merits.

Gitmask encourages people to think about their privacy. The internet never forgets. And although GitHub has managed to close this pesky flaw in their security that let anyone find the real email of any user, they’re not perfect.

So, if you’re looking to commit quietly, Gitmask might be right for you.

Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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