Freenode, the world’s largest free and open source software project, has been acquired by VPN company Private Internet Accesss (PIA).
Freenode: World’s Largest Discussion Forum
Freenode has been active since 1995. It’s best known for its IRC discussion channel. The channel has over 90,000 users, making it the world’s large discussion forum for free and open source software.
PIA said Freenode will continue to operate as normal. It will still be a not-for-profit entity with the same management and principles.
In a statement, PIA said:
“Private Internet Access is committed to bringing the internet back to its original state, where being online meant being in your own private world, exploring, learning and creating. PIA is serious about supporting organisations and individuals that it considers to be in alignment with its mission and freenode is one such project.”
There has been a “great deal of overlap between the visions and missions of the two organisations” for the past 18 years, the statement added.
Freenode project orgininator Rob Levin (a.k.a “lilo”) died in September 2006 after being hit by a car in Houston while cycling. He was an icon of the open source software community.
PIA’s Christel Dahlskjaer took over the project following that incident. Levin’s brother David is also a project board member.
What are Virtual Private Networks?
Private Internet Access is a personal VPN service with servers in 25 countries. VPNs, or virtual private networks, “tunnel” users’ internet access through foreign servers.
As well as providing greater privacy, these networks permit users to circumvent local blocks or restrictions. They are especially popular in countries where internet content is heavily restricted.
In recent years, however, users in many western countries have signed up with VPN companies simply to boost their own privacy levels online.
Is Freenode a worthy project? Will this acquisition change anything? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Freenode, PIA, Pixabay