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I am resigning along with most other Freenode staff (haavard.me)
561 points by ilkkao 37 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 269 comments

False, see this snippet from #freenode:

    15:04 <@Fuchs> as it is clearly stated in my letter, this was a draft
                   that was not supposed to be published, but a draft from
                   a colleague that linked to mine got indexed by a search
                   engine and found
    15:04 <@Fuchs> as of right now, none of us resigned, freenode is still
                   ran by the same volunteers that ran it for the past 2
                   decades, and the rest is rumours and hearsay, we'll gladly
                   officially communicate when we can, until then I'd suggest
                   taking any rants, pastebins, articles and the likes with a
                   grain of salt

"I am about to resign along with most other Freenode staff" isn't really that much better.

Yeah, I can't recall ever drafting and saving/keeping a resignation letter from a job (volunteer or otherwise) that I didn't intend to leave...

I did this many times, usually on the verge of a burnout. Almost every time, except for the final one, it helped me identify the pain points as well as the highlights, find ways to fix the underlying issues then get back to speed and regain satisfaction from work. I think it's a great way to gather more insight about yourself and your workplace. Try drafting one now especially if you do not intend to leave :)

Agree. That said, keep it somewhere only you can see until you act upon it (if you even do).

> Yeah, I can't recall ever drafting and saving/keeping a resignation letter from a job (volunteer or otherwise) that I didn't intend to leave...

Writing letters that you don't send is an effective, practical, recommended way to manage anger and other emotions. It's even better than posting angry rants on the Internet. :)

I worked at a tech company where the management decided to move the offices to a new office park built on top of a toxic waste dump. We all printed off our resumes and left them on the laser printer, that was the end of that

Nevermind posting it on the internet, indexed or not.

The current staff is very different. Christel is apparently gone. Only kloeri remains.


Edit: Also compare to the staff listed in this deleted freenode blog linked by @gwd below.


Edit 2: Who is OFTC and how do they fit in?

OFTC was founded by people who didn't like how freeenode was run. but that was quite some time ago. i don't remember the details but there were some issues very early on, and the people responsible for those issues left long ago.

OFTC is another IRC network - irc.oftc.net

OFTC is a competing IRC network run by tomaw who also is staging a hostile takeover of freenode as we speak.

OFTC is run by the OFTC board (of which tomaw is a member) on behalf of Software in the Public Interest, who originally organized it for Debian.

According to the current freenode people page, tomaw is head of staffing, projects and communities and also the overall project lead in charge of the other heads.

Edit: here’s the staff as of 23 Apr. tomaw is still there today, the rest are gone, including fuchs.


Edit: Given the situation with PIA


maybe it wold be a positive event from the POV of the free sw community?

Edit 2: Er, I guess not:


How is PIA related to any of this?

rasengan was a co-founder of PIA, and became involved in Freenode via "freenode becoming officially part of the PIA family" in 2017: https://freenode.net/news/pia-fn

This was later downplayed in 2019, after PIA was acquired by a company Kape with a poor track record: https://freenode.net/news/freenode-pia-changes

It appears shells.net which is another rasengan company (but not associated with Kape?) has since taken PIA's place in the organisation.

That doesn’t necessarily make it false, it just means the rabbit hole is even deeper.

Not "false". A draft. It might never get published and the person may never resign, but it's not false.

They say "false", not "fake", unless it's been edited in the past 6 minutes.

Pretty sure it was edited, that's why I used the quotes. I could be wrong though so I'll modify mine.

Rant: Freenode advertises a specific religion on CTC message of the day, definitely hate that.

Ouch. This type of thing is a self-fullfilling prophecy in a way

Fake logs, you can't have newlines in IRC messages!

Install irssi! Newlines magically appear on their own, and it's really nice to not need to scroll left/right to read long messages.

Shouldn't your terminal handle this even if you were using netcat to chat? If the client was injecting newlines that would end up being rather unpleasant when pasting chats into a different channel.

That would prevent indenting the messages to the length of the nickname. Irssi performs manual linewrapping to achieve that.

Who uses netcat to chat?

Not only it injects newlines, it injects indentation. You can always 1) paste from logs 2) paste from the in-memory rawlog Irssi keeps or 3) use a script like xsel | tr '\t' ' ' | tr '\n' ' ' | sed 's/ */ /g' | tee >(xsel -i) | xsel -ib to your clipboard (yes it uses tr uselessly)

Copy-pasteability is not really the goal of apps that use ncurses or similar interfaces. Side-by-side windows break it also.

Sure you can, CTCP supports sending multiline messages. I even wrote support for them in an IRC lib I made once upon a time. No other client that I know of supports them, though.

This is why we can't have nice things.

IRC is a constant drama, all the way back to The Great Split[0]

Been involved with IRC a good 25 years, running a pretty popular blog about it "back in the days", i just couldn't be bothered keeping it up and updated because of all the constant fighting, arguing, bickering and people outright attacking each other all the damn time.

I'm not entirely sure what it is, but something about IRC gives people big egos, omnipotence fantasies which, again, leads to drama - i, myself, just concluded it wasn't worth my time anymore and moved on.

Mind you, this comes from someone who met his (former) wife on IRC, made great friendships with people all over the world - something i'm still grateful for to this very day.

But it wasn't made to last, sadly.

[0] http://www.irc.org/history_docs/TheGreatSplit.html

Irc is banned on Brazillian servers, most ISPs will insta-cancel your contract if they detect you are running a IRC server.

Reason for that is that Irc drama attracts brazillian hackers and script kiddies like flies, having an irc server is like having a huge DDoS magnet, having a irc server is an excellent way to make a whole ISP crumble under attack.

Last major irc network we had went bankrupt because of their DDoS protection costs rising and rising and rising until they went in debt to stay online and until they couldn't pay the debts.

After a disagreement on IRC led to a 400mbps DDoS attack on my university (we shrugged it off, yay internet2) I decided it was time to stop using IRC. This was 20 years ago. I think I continued from a third party shell for a year or two but eventually moved on to web forums. Before I completely left I started ghosting my dns to avoid attacks but that was more effort than it was worth

You could access IRC via Internet2? I always thought Internet2 was limited to accessing smaller educational networks networks like Merit, JANET or CERN.

At the time of college, for me, internet2 consisted of mostly all the accredited universities who could afford it and special companies providing limited services. The blended connection we received allowed for us to absorb the entire impact because some of the attack machines were from other university computers (which is what caused the uproar and got me a slap on the wrist.. the attack was detected upstream within about 5-7min, I was impressed)

That's really interesting. I wonder what's particular to Brazil that causes this?

I'm a brazilian and I watched it. There were two major IRC networks in Brazil. The older and bigger with more users was Brasnet, the younger, smaller and with less proficient users was brasirc later renamed to redebrasil.

IRC in Brazil was mostly born on university campi but, by the second half of the 90's it quickly attracted teens who simply wanted to chat. Our version of the Eternal September.

Most used OS at the time was win9x and most used IRC client was mIRC. Actually, most users didn't know the difference between mIRC and IRC. So, it was very very unsafe for illiterate users. Self-reproducing mIRC scripts and people trying to fool others with netbus and the like was extremely common.

One day, by the end of the 90's, both major networks joined. The service quality went deeply down. Operators of big channels lost their status, illiterate users flooded the network and traditional brasnet channels got filled with users from redebreasil who weren't used to the established netiquette. To make things worse, redebrasil had advertisements and such ads went together with them when they joined brasnet.

That day was one of the saddest days of my life, that day I lost my operator status on #programacao on brasnet, I was 15 and getting that status was no easy task. It was the day I stopped using IRC in Brazil.

The thing just went downhill from there. Getting IRCop status was reason to act arrogantly, attacks were rampant and winxp came along been not much safer than win9x. Netsplit was common because of the attacks, bots tryied to fool people to shady and phishing sites, there was no control to stop abuse from IRCops...

Then, by the beginning of the 2000's IM became more popular, then social networks. Actually MSN messenger and orkut popularity were major blows in brazilian IRC. New people buying computers to get connected no longer even knew about the existence of what was once a major entertainment communication medium.

The quality of the service didn't improve, and users started migrating away from it. It commercially devalued, ISP's didn't want to host it and, in 2007, brasnet was closed: http://www.brasnet.org/2007/05/era-uma-vez-o-irc-brasileiro....

Nothing, this happened in Europe as well. IRC attracts this because of how the model works (although it has long since been mitigated through chanserv etc), if no one is in a channel and you enter it you are the owner. So if you can boot everyone else off of the network you can take over the channel.

I wouldn't say it's particular to Brazil but I can try to guess the biggest contributing factors. Brazil is huge (so lots of script kiddies) but it has only like 3 major ISPs (attending big cities). Also ISPs here have a lot of leeway on QoS matters, even after net neutrality laws.

" ISPs here have a lot of leeway"

Ha, ha saw what you did there!

So, apparently for freenode staff it's either "Lee's way or the hiway"?

A combination of Brazil being one of largest countries, while also being non-English yet retaining its linguistic identity (people using the Internet in Portuguese, so they don't have get lumped in with USA communities), and a dash of loose law enforcement, makes things happen there that are noticeably not the generic Anglo/USA Internet


I don't think it's particular to Brazil.

Brazil is particular in that and other related things.

For example many MMORPGs have Brazil-only servers, because brazillians tend to hack, cheat and troll, so many games have ip-banned the entire Brazil range and then made a server just for Brazillians.

When website defacing was all the rage, Brazil had the dubious hanking of having the most defacing groups and the most defaced sites, despite internet in Brazil being much smaller than US or EU.

According to Kapersky last year, Brazil is first place in cibercrime ranking in South America, and third in the worldwide ranking.

Brazil is also currently fourth place worldwide in the number of bot farms.

and number one in weirdo NFT marketplaces like Hic et Nunc

I do recall that many ISPs had specific provision against running IRC servers in the ToS (IIRC OVH does/did?), although in my experience it wasn't actively enforced unless you started causing trouble. Ditto for bittorent.

> Reason for that is that Irc drama attracts brazillian hackers and script kiddies like flies, having an irc server is like having a huge DDoS magnet, having a irc server is an excellent way to make a whole ISP crumble under attack

Citation needed. Most ISPs ban IRC ports due to having a large amount of customers that are members of a botnet via a virus.

It is not just IRC ports. Back when I wanted make my own MMO and went shopping for business ISP, I noticed one of the contracts I read even wrote a long list of all possibly IRC related stuff, they would ban you if you had: irc server seevice, irc server software irc client software, irc bots, tools to make irc bots, mirc scripts, and a bunch of other stuff I don't remember (this was around 2007)

Exactly. All of these would be part of running a botnet. In the 90s and early 2000s you assuredly had to seek out hosts specifically designed for hosting IRC shells or services. Nowadays that DDOS and traffic management work better I see less of it.

Nice case of victimblaming.

Is that really specific to IRC? I'm sure there's at least as much drama on Discord or large Whatsapp/telegram groups today.

Any community with sub-groups and a privilege system for ops/voice/... will generate drama.

It's not a fatality either, I've been on many smaller channels that were focusing on a specific topic and mostly used for technical discussions and the only moderator interventions were to kick spammers or update the /topic.

It saddens me a bit that IRC is so unpopular with newer generations, now the discussion has moved to proprietary, centralized solutions like Discord. Yet another nail in the free, distributed, decentralized, non-ad-driven, non-HTTP-based internet coffin.

> Is that really specific to IRC? I'm sure there's at least as much drama on Discord or large Whatsapp/telegram groups today.

The fact that anyone can start their own group limits tin god syndrome on those networks. IRC requires moderate technical skill and either running or paying for servers, which is enough of a hurdle that admins can get away with quite a lot of bad behaviour before being ousted.

Yes. Communication software that can be set up by anyone with some technical skill is bad. Communication software run by centralized corporations is good. No drama possible when your entire chat system can be nuked with a press of a button from some anonymous "moderator".

Well, there really isn't, because the moderators are so far away from the day-to-day conflicts. Rather like how living under a distant emperor and his unaccountable mandarins tends to mean less day-to-day drama than living in the wild west, where it's easy to attract the attention of the local big man.

It's more that ease of setting up a new community makes the network effect nearly negligible which mitigates a large amount of the personnel issues that usually crop up when it takes more capital to get something going. It's really got very little to do with the centralization or corporation backing it directly.

We'll see about that whenever Discord wants to cleanup their act for a buyout/IPO/advertiser/whatever and they start banning things that are not corporate-friendly.

Many internet users sure love complaining about "muh free speech" post-facto when they're more than happy to buy into closed ecosystems in the first place.

This is not aimed at you personally by the way, I'm just always frustrated to see this pattern repeating itself year after year and yet users keep hoping to new proprietary platforms. "No but we swear it's different this time you guys!!".

You missed the point completely. The issue is that it requires tech skills instead of being accessible to everyone, so those techies can, as you say "nuke" people.

I don't think ISPs care at all about this. They care about the health of their networks.

That's for network-level drama, sure, but in my experience most of the day-to-day drama was at the channel level and anybody can start a new channel.

And back in its heydays there were enough big IRC networks that you could just hop from one to the other if the admins became a nuisance. Then you had an eggdrop bot synchronize both channels during the migration, good times.

Unfortunately, it's hard to compete with 'free as in beer'. Especially when Discord offers an unbeatable platform for free by burning VC money.

> Is that really specific to IRC? I'm sure there's at least as much drama on Discord or large Whatsapp/telegram groups today.

Well yeah but with IRC you used to be able to perform hostile takeovers by knocking people offline strategically.

You can't really do that with Discord so the drama tends to stay as an argument rather than a DDoS battle

Matrix might be the great hope for decentralised comms.

> IRC is a constant drama, all the way back to The Great Split

Surely this is selection bias, you don't hear about -no- drama.

I run an IRC network which hasn't had any real drama for 15 years... (Current global users: 322 Max: 1514)

Not that I disagree, but doesn't sound like that's the issue here? The issue is that there's been a hostile takeover of freenode.net so the admins have established an network on a new domain for its communities to migrate to, libera.chat.

They should move to Matrix. Decentralised, federated, and just that wee bit more modern.

I say that as an IRC user for at least 2 decades and a recent convert to Matrix.

Probably ok for most current irc use cases; but the mobile clients for Matrix suck. I’ve also had “eventual consistency” issues with the protocol.

Discord is probably the closest spiritual successor to irc (the types of communities using discord are the same types of communities that used irc in the past).

Discord is a centrally controlled walled garden.

The whole point of Matrix is decentralisation and federation - which is closer to the spirit of IRC than what Discord is.

Also, Matrix is a protocol, not a centralised service like Discord.

And? The kinda of communities that used to be on IRC and aren't invested in the "indie web" are on Discord. That's just a fact. I don't like it either, but I totally get it when when Synapse+Element are still a slow inconsistent error-throwing mess if you don't disable federation (which all large-name adopters have done).

Right, people who want what Discord offers are already on Discord. For everyone else (the people that are still on IRC 20 years later) Matrix is probably more what they're looking for.

> I don't like it either, but I totally get it when when Synapse+Element are still a slow inconsistent error-throwing mess if you don't disable federation

It isn't really. I can't confirm this despite being part of the biggest rooms in the network on matrix.org.

It was slow (very slow) once (when Matrix grow and Synapse wasn't scalable), but that has been in the past for a while now

I tried this, weeks ago. Joining rooms timed out on the client, and took about an half an hour to an hour to sync up to a point I'd assume it'd be reliable. Sort of. That's probably all fine once you're settled in, but "the largest rooms" aren't even close to as active as a typical Discord server. It'd be a horrible drop-in replacement for Discord right now.

largest in amount of servers that are participating (which actually makes the biggest resource impact). What did you do for half an hour sync time (I guess initial sync when you login the first time with Element?)

Mostly stare at the logs, seeing about half of the requests going to dead servers and waiting for it all to settle down.

Joining is still slow. You may be interested in the video in today’s This Week In Matrix which details how we’re fixing this: https://matrix.org/blog/2021/05/14/this-week-in-matrix-2021-...

> Discord is probably the closest spiritual successor to irc

Uh, some locked down corporate please-read-your-terms-of-service closed-source crapware?

That's pretty much the exact opposite.

Discord is a private company, IRC and Matrix are protocols.

Similarly, no one wants "email". They want gmail, or some other service that gives them email.

IRC is not a home. Discord is a home. FreeNode is (was?) a home. The admin and moderation team (and the corporate structure therein) makes a difference that technical details cannot replicate.

The point is that IRC as a protocol makes it possible to join the FreeNode “home” from any compatible client on any platform. And users can modify most of these clients to their liking. Same with email or Matrix.

But with Discord users are locked in to use the closed source Discord clients, or reverse engineer the discord “protocol” and risk being banned because of it.

Ripcord (third party client) and Litecord (third party server) exist.

Here is Discord's official policy on it:

> You are not mistaken. We do not support 3rd party clients, and they are not allowed per our ToS/API ToS.


And here is what Jake Henry, the antispam engineer of Discord, said:


So "You might get banned for it, if you ask nicely we might unban you, don't do it again"

is not exactly the same level of supports third party clients that IRC or Matrix do.

How many would want gmail if or any other service that could only exchange messages with other users of the same system?

Email is what makes it happen that systems can exchange messages with each other. Much like Matrix. Much unlike Discord.

> no one wants "email"

> They want ... some ... service that gives them email.

Aren't these two statements contradictory?

"I have email" and "I have email service" mean the same thing to me.

Compared to mobile IRC clients? Element is a big improvement.

Discord is out, as others have mentioned, for being controlled by a single corporation.

Discord is also eventually consistent. It is centralised and offers weaker consistency guarantees than Matrix.

How do mobile clients for Matrix suck ?

No idea.

I've had no problems with either my homeserver nor with Element -desktop or -android.

Haha, how is that any different from Twitter / Silicon Valley / Slashdot / OpenSource / startup drama of the day? :)

It seems the whole business, filled with young opinionated people, really invites these kind of dramas.

I haven’t seen even one relatively large open source project without politics involved.

You say that like politics is a bad thing. The whole point of OS is to change the balance of power into the hands of the majority. OS fans have little respect for a forceful takeover by a rich entity. This is how it should be.

Do something, or vote.

Strange how often these FOSS dramas tend to end up removing the creators of the projects and replace them with people friendly to large multination corporations that pay lip service to the "correct" political fads.

A lot of politics, whether you're talking electoral politics in a democratic nation or just the drama in an open source project, amounts to little more than factional signaling and the narcissism of small differences.

The political modus operandi of open source, to the extent that there is one, has generally been to opt out of existing structures and try to create new ones, rather than altering or dismantling existing ones.

I haven’t seen even one relatively large HUMAN ORGANIZATION without politics involved.

Fixed that for you.

Perhaps can say the same for organizations of animals even. I know there are politics amongst some groups; don't know enough to state if there is always politics within any group of animals or not.


I always say to people that say YouTube brings the worst in people that its, just, well.. people. IRC was just like that in the 90s as soon as enough people were sat in a channel it just became factional.

25 years is pretty long in IT history.

I'd say it lasted.

But well, everything is political nowaday, and people apparently can't get political without creating drama. See: the last basecamp outrage.

> everything is political nowaday

I think you mean "polarized". And polarization is happening only in some societies, mostly in the anglosphere.

In many other places society was much more polarized 50 or 60 years ago.

I see what you mean, but people used to be angry about women not having the right to vote or the vietnam war. Getting outraged over grammar issues or bathroom policy is kinda new.

…People are still outraged over voting rights and endless wars.

Again, it depends where. There's plenty of people in the world facing war, slavery, and so on.

But if I was to assume that you are talking about the US, both gender and racial discrimination around bathroom policies has been a hot discussion topic on-and-off for more than a hundred years.

Aristotle defined man as bios politikos, a political animal, quite a long time ago...

Yes, but if you are among mature adults, you can discuss opposite politic views without one of your friends leaving the dinner table and slamming the door.

Which apparently internet people have a hard time to handle.

I have parties at home with feminists and machists, cryto speculators and communists, vegan meditators and frat guys bbq body builders, atheist hedonists and muslim minimalists, yet they manage to have fun together.

When I read such title I can't help but thinking "what are they, 5 years old?".

Like the GP of this thread you might want to reread the actual post rather than skim the title. (see my other comment).

Your parties sound like a blast!

> Your parties sound like a blast!

They are, but they take a month to prepare for.

> Like the GP of this thread you might want to reread the actual post rather than skim the title. (see my other comment).

In retrospect, yeah.

You do know that the staff left because of a hostile corporate takeover and not any sort of interpersonal political dispute, right?

Answering to GP.

<@kline> whats best is for everyone just to sit tight and wait for it to pan out, freenode isnt going to implode overnight no matter what random pastebins say

<@Fuchs> as it is clearly stated in my letter, this was a draft that was not supposed to be published, but a draft from a colleague that linked to mine got indexed by a search engine and found

<@Fuchs> as of right now, none of us resigned, freenode is still ran by the same volunteers that ran it for the past 2 decades, and the rest is rumours and hearsay, we'll gladly officially communicate when we can, until then I'd suggest taking any rants, pastebins, articles and the likes with a grain of salt


Why would someone who wrote that email draft now say his own email was "rumours and hearsay"?

That just makes the whole thing sound even sketchier.

Also, geez, how can anyone who's an IT professional in 2021 think they can put something on the public internet without auth and keep it private? Really?

It's possible when writing this the author was not in possession of the full facts, and misunderstood the situation.

Also at the time of writing it wasn't intended to be kept private, it's explicitly a message intended to be published at some point. It just never was and the situation changed, it's just an oversight.

1. That's what a draft is: A non-final document, which may never be used. Drafting a resignation and then not using it isn't unusual.

2. The internet is much bigger than you think. The document is probably more likely to be found and publicized from your drawer at home than being found on a random server on the internet. People fight for visibility for a reason.

Only when several documents link to each other, the risk of being found goes up...

Not too many engines indexing my drawer at home.

One link to your document will still get it indexed or no links but using chrome.

Not too many engines indexing the web as a whole either.

One person hearing about your document or finding it themselves is all it takes in the real world as well.

But to retrieve the document you would have to go in my drawer?

Not the same at all.

Maybe if the draw was outside and there was a camera showing inside of the draw and if anyone could travel at the speed of light. Still not the same at all.

The odds of me finding an unlinked file on a random server is lower than me ending up physically being there to open your drawer.

But even then, the information leaks without the document itself. "I heard he is going to resign" is all it takes.

You are leaking more information online than you realize. If your contact viewed that in chrome, google may have already visited the unlinked document.

Google is really interested in indexing anything it doesn't know.

You are leaking much more information IRL than you realize.

It is the same. If I'd like to share a draft letter with someone over IRC's DM or some internal IRC channel, I'd upload it to my HTTP server's "stuff" folder with file listing disabled and paste the link.

If you dare open that in your chrome browser your extensions, your seo toolbar and google will know and come and index those files for you.

To get access to a random's person house let alone drawer would be impossible and extremely costly and risky in most scenerios.

Why would I use a browser that sends what I browse to some third parties and index those things in the first place?

I mean, I know that this is a common thing these days, but it didn't use to be for a very long time. And it's still not what happens on my PC or phone.

Having a resignation letter ready to go is understandable.

10 volunteers all having their resignation letters pre-written and ready to go is a bit weirder and points to some real problems at the organization.

You don’t form a quitting pact to leave your home of 20 years at the same time with 10 coworkers and start a rival service unless you’re REALLY committed.

But to then walk it all back as rumours and hearsay after this much premeditation and thought was put into it? Nuh uh! There is some kind of coercion here in my opinion.

It's still not true unless they decide to move forward. Clearly bad things are going down, but they have not resigned until they decide to resign.

And while they clearly seem ready to do so, this does not mean it will happen. The problem could end up corrected, especially seeing what is on the line.

It may never be used, but it's not rumors and hearsay if it comes from the actual person. This isn't outside people speculating, this is proof that at least some internal people are considering resignation.

"They resigned" is rumors and hearsay if the truth is "They are considering resigning".

They resigned is incorrect. Hearsay is when one person is reporting what another person has said, which isn't the case here: it's coming from the source. Rumor also does not seem a good word to fit this situation when it's coming from the source.

It is very true. I probably still have a resignation letter at a company I ended working for 12 more months. Nobody knows about it (except the NSA)

That said, it did mean a lot about my intent and feeling at the time.

Hi, NSA rep here: All of us were disappointed you stayed in that job after writing that. You really could have done better.

And a few other things:

1) The front left tire on your car is about 6 psi too low

2) Not to worry you but we really think you should get your heart looked at: our listening devices heard something a bit irregular

3) the math homework you lost that time in 3rd grade was actually stolen by the kid sitting next to you who turned it in as his own. He got a gold star on it. But he's also now a janitor, so karma came through on that (usually it doesn't: the wicked go unpunished, speaking from our own experience on that)

Oh, and as a one-time freebie, next time you lose your keys just pickup any phone or speak into any smart home device, say your SS# and "keys please" and we'll let you know where they are.

Point 1 is actually true

You’re not sure about your heart and you totally can’t remember about that math homework?

I just didnt want to confirm nor deny any further info

Possibly threatened with legal action?

The think this seems likely. Threatened, or realized some immediate issue naming their replacement already.

It seems like someone only jumped the gun on this information getting out, not that it wouldn’t come to be.

It is trivial to impersonate someone over IRC, if you control the infrastructure.

Not saying it is so, but...

Well, all the links at the bottom of the letter seem to 404, so it seems like they didn't mean to publish this yet.

The link was circulating in IRC. It was pasted to a channel I'm following with a comment "changes in Freenode". Looked interesting enough to be a HN submission. I've no knowledge how freenode is actually managed. Apologies if it wasn't meant to go out. Seems that I don't have an option to delete it.

None of you resigned, but all of you had a letter ready to go. On your personal domain.

Don’t tell me nothing is going on and everything is alright.

Seriously, wtf?

Maybe something was going to change, they threatened to resign and they reverted the change. Wait and see.

same volunteers

Here is their 2017 blog about resignations:


It looks like this is just a draft so far. Most of the links are dead and one explains that it's also just a draft: https://fuchsnet.ch/privat/fn-resign-letter.txt.

Yep, another link has draft in the filename and libera.chat doesn't seem to be operating yet. Looks like there's been a leak.

That URL, https://p.haavard.me/407 is a pastebin text.

According to https://p.haavard.me/ the pastebins expire after 24 hours. But most URLs in the pastebin already are 404, which likely means that someone pasted an old text file for an issue that happened some time ago.

It links to other pages like https://fuchsnet.ch/privat/fn-resign-letter.txt which is still live (as of this comment) and was last updated yesterday according to the HTTP headers. Also https://gist.github.com/JonathanD82/72bf8f979bfd0a08c5ed25f9... which was updated 3 days ago.

> It links to other pages like https://fuchsnet.ch/privat/fn-resign-letter.txt which is still live (as of this comment)

I'm guessing stuff behind '/privat/' isn't supposed to be, er, public.. oops.

For those like me who weren’t aware of the context, the third party referred to in the article appears to be Private Internet Access (PIA)

In 2019 PIA was aquired by a company that had been associated with malware.


2017 Freenode blog by christel regarding PIA:


The, often corrupt, sell off of community assets feels like a constant in human society.

From government kickbacks from oil companies down to community sporting clubs there is a tragic phenomena where if you have corrupt individuals in charge at a single point in time then there is a chance for an irreversible loss of a public good.

Here's a link about a community club in Australia where one of the directors ended up owning the clubs assets after some bad decision [0].

[0] - https://www.michaelwest.com.au/a-barilaro-affair-how-the-bar...

Seems like something direct democracy or requiring referendums for such actions would solve...

Nah, the standard playbook is to keep firing a bunch of employees who run the resource until service degrades, then complain about how badly mismanaged the resource is and extol how perfect it would be to have it be managed by a private company, then you have a friend start a company where you have a nice big share, have the company buy the resource with the support of the people, profit.

it would help, but referenda are at the mercy of the media. if you have a nasty corporate-controlled media, which we very much do in the UK, then people will still happily vote away their community property.

In the UK we had a referendum for more direct democracy. Something like 65% voted against, with a low turnout. Brilliant

That's a very good point. And how could that be rectified? Public service hasn't helped much nor more centralized state media. What do you do, require all news outlets be nonprofits?

I’d start by introducing the same rules for the print media as there are for the broadcast media in this country. I.e stories have to be fair and balanced. show both sides of the argument

On the contrary; one of the linked drafts [1] links to the web archive of a now-removed blog post [2] dated 2021-04-18.

[1] https://fuchsnet.ch/privat/fn-resign-letter.txt

[2] https://web.archive.org/web/20210423231439/https://freenode....

And the service mentioned within the "I've resigned and lost all my admin access, but I've not resigned draft"... is a live site.



Their twitter was created last month.

Seems like there was an attempt at damage control more than anything else.

Strange - maybe an attempt to publicise it again? The libra.chat only just being done - or someone else jumping on it, and hoping it would have some credibility?

Resigned multiple times?

Now would be an excellent opportunity for those people to move to Matrix.

IRC was good, and I still use it, but even I as a 51 years old greybeard unix/linux accolyte realise that IRC has had its day.

If any of these chaps are reading this, move to Matrix - it'll be more resilient than IRC.

I have given it a fair spin a while ago and I wasn't impressed at all (too many problems.. even with simple 2-person chat). Distributed database based chat isn't really the way to go to get something reliable (where nothing gets even close to IRC).

Also there are new modern irc servers around (such as Oragono) that integrate lots of things that are often missed/bolted on externally, like history, bouncer, authentication, etc.

Try giving it another spin. Matrix-Synapse is under constant development and lots of bugs have been fixed each release.

I've found the matrix-synapse homeserver I run to be stable. Along with Element-desktop and the Element android app it's been a great experience for me.

With both of those, you don't need to worry about history or bouncers, as history gets synched even if you power down your homeserver and back up again like I do.

And authentication comes as a by-product of matrix-synapse/Element.

I also love url and picture previews displayed directly in Element (and other clients) by way of synapse - far nicer experience than the text-only of IRC in my opinion.

I think IRC has had its day. At least with myself.

Disagree. As an open chat platform -- ie. not for private/confidential communications, to me, IRC is still superior to Matrix. We use it at work in parallel to IRC, and it still happens today (at least with elements.io) that a message or two can get lost when you restart your client in an unfortunate moment, and sometimes channel user lists get out of sync, so you're addressing a person that's not there, or suddenly someone replies you don't see in the user list. It's happening rarely, but it does, and it is annoying.

IRC's concept of requiring an active TCP connection for your session is archaic but dead simple, and the only times you have to wonder whether or not someone received your message is if they got a ping timeout shortly after, and the user list might get out of sync once in a honeymoon when there's a net-split. Nothing about IRC changes anymore, so you won't get surprised by regressions and bug fixes every month. I can see how people miss long multi-line messages and animated gifs in IRC, but I just don't. It's straight forward text communications, no bullshit.

> and it still happens today (at least with elements.io) that a message or two can get lost when you restart your client in an unfortunate moment

Is that unlucky moment during Element sending/trying to send the message to the server?

In this case Element stores messages now until they are sent (since 1.7.26).

Otherwise, don't see how this could happen.

I genuinely don't understand how you are concerned about "losing messages" when that is literally the baseline for IRC. Every person needs their own bouncer if they don't want any message to be lost to them when their machine disconnects from the internet. And if your bouncer loses connection you won't get the messages either.

IRC doesn't lose messages. Everyone you see in the channel gets the message, everybody else doesn't. No guessing games. That's what gp meant.

Should be the same for Matrix really, if your client manages to send it to the server.

> I also love url and picture previews displayed directly in Element (and other clients) by way of synapse - far nicer experience than the text-only of IRC in my opinion.

What is the difference with IRC clients showing URL/picture in terms of experience?

How does one moderate a room if there are infinite home servers with infinite identities?

I agree Matrix hasn't seen the level of attacks IRC got. Once it has been through that we will see if it is really a viable alternative.

You can block users or homeservers, or even go allowlist only, I believe.

I think there's work on some sort of reputation based system but afaik it's not there yet.

Realistically, IRC is far from reliable. Netsplits, messages out of order or getting lost, and so on - these are just the problems of having a distributed system of any kind, whether it's a federated network or just a couple of IRC servers.

The difference is that IRC doesn't try to address these issues and just lets them happen, whereas Matrix does try and sometimes gets it wrong (more due to implementation bugs than protocol issues).

I don't think it's fair to conclude that IRC is "more reliable" on that basis - if anything, I would say that Matrix comes out on top here despite the existing implementation issues. At least it eventually gets things into the right state.

Yeah it's more about user psychology/ergonomy. A Blunt tool that expose its limit can be preferred to a potentially better one that create more unknown failures. (Not thinking about SDV)

Sure netsplits happen, but at least I can still communicate with people that are on the same side of the split (and know exactly who they are). I never had the same issues as with Slack, Matrix, etc. where I just couldn't communicate at all for > 10 minutes.

And frankly I don't really care about it magically back filling the log later on, since the moment has passed. I value "Availability" above all else. And here IRC is unparalleled.

And improving upon the netsplits without breaking this aspect is really quite difficult.

The whole point of Matrix is you run your own matrix-synapse homeserver, so if the people you know are also connecting to your homeserver, and there's a matrix equivalent of a netsplit, you'll still be talking to those on yours - with the bonus of history backfill when your server reconnects to some other federated server.

Same happening as IRC - but with a different and more resilient protocol.

I also think including Slack along with Matrix is incorrect, as Slack is - like Discord - a centrally controlled walled garden. Matrix is not like those two at all.

That doesn't really help since the home server more corresponds to my irc client (or something like quassel-core or a bouncer) and not a irc server and will just have me as a user and no one else.

The Matrix architecture is much closer to the one used by Jabber Multi User Chat (with perhaps a fancier MUC protocol) than IRC.

That's not true though - you'll still be talking to everyone on every homeserver that yours can reach (or can be reached transitively)! When matrix.org went down for a bit a few years ago, I could talk in the same rooms with everyone on a homeserver that wasn't matrix.org flawlessly, even though the room was first created on matrix.org. I struggle to see how Matrix could be less available than IRC, where I've experienced many more netsplits.

Yes it is possible to mirror rooms, but last I checked that had to be setup manually? Or does synapse do that automatically now?

In any case that wasn't my point earlier. That was that I never had the issue on IRC that my homeserver somehow got stuck for several minutes while it did "something" in the room resolution protocol before suddenly catching up all of a sudden. And that I'll take netsplits any day over it being stuck.

I'm not sure what you mean by mirroring rooms - rooms don't have any one particular home or special server, they exist across all participating servers always and automatically.

I've never experienced what you're describing with the homeserver getting stuck while it did something, though I have had Element Android time out and seemingly not notice for a while & keep spinning, but that was the client's fault, not the server. My best guess is that whatever you experienced did get fixed!

Yes, but you are not syncing between all of them (since that would scale quite badly), but directed graph like in IRC (if I understand the specs correctly anyway). Edit: Oh.. or does it really sync between all servers (in which case I didn't quite understand the spec I guess)? Then that solves netsplits quite well at the cost of quite poor scalability.

Not sure what the issue was in the end, but I have had it with all clients I had tried (mobile, desktop, ..).

I agree that full mesh network is bad for scaling, but IRC's directed graph—manually configured even—is bad for availability. There is some talk about making the routing better, but I guess it's not in near future..

In Matrix it could be a problem, but practically it's not a problem even in the largest room #matrix:matrix.org with probably thousands of servers. But it makes joining that room quite slow and resource intensive.

Of course there is no IRC network with thousands of servers, because accepted hosts are well curated by the rules of the IRC network whereas any Matrix server can join the global federation. Granted, you don't need to join a chat network with an IRC server, but then neither does a Matrix server.

Re: edit, yep I believe it is full mesh sync for homeservers in a room, but if for some reason two can't communicate they can get the graph from other servers. It's eventually consistent if the homeservers are connected through any path, but it tries to be full-mesh. Scalability I think will be tackled to make P2P more practical, though.

Sorry you had that issue!

Incorrect, as you can configure your homeserver to be a public server or an invite-only server where you can have your chums join your homeserver - and thanks to federation even if there is some break in comms between your homeserver and another federated server - say the matrix.org server (which runs on the same matrix-synapse you'd be running) - it's possible for the federation to route around the problem - which, exactly like IRC's netsplit, will resolve eventually, but with the added advantage of synching history.

We are conflating things here, since the architecture of IRC and Matrix are not the same. Since due to the federated nature each room will be different - like it is in Jabber.

I am not talking about talking to my friends (since that's already solved with a private irc network), but for random people on rather large public rooms, where everyone will be isolated to their homeserver without manual configuration (granted.. since we have some big homeservers like matrix.org probably they'll able to continue chatting in the room).

Edit: Turns out I misremembered the federation algorithm from the spec - seems like it is indeed currently full-mesh and not a directed graph so I retract my remark.

Wholeheartedly agree with the above.

Also remembering IRC's netsplits resulting in IRC Services being split off and resultant and inevitable chaos when the netsplits end.

It's not really as much of an issue these days as it used to be.

And like I said.. you can get that all in a neatly integrated package where you don't have to worry about any of that anymore.


IRC is still alive and well thanks.

I was acquaintances with Rob Levin before he perished in a bicycle accident. I think it’s safe to say that his presence has been missed, and this is just one more way in which it is missed.

I chatted with him a couple of times too. (had to dig up really old IRC logs to remember). Definitely a nice person!

I'm shocked - shocked - that a shady VPN company would ruin a community resource like that.

Is PIA shady? Or is it VPNs that are shady? Where's the shadiness here?

The majority of the VPN industry is shady. It relies on spreading FUD and unfounded claims about security & privacy, and the economics don't make sense for a lot of them - they appear to spend more on marketing than the expected profits from such a service, so extra money must be made somehow, probably though unethical means.

I travel a lot (well, not right now because pandemic), and live in countries that I don't have a bank account in, or speak the language of.

This is a problem for a lot of web services. Apparently where your IP is located determines where you bank and what language you speak. Apparently people like me don't exist, or rather, are a small enough market to be completely ignored (which was the upshot of my conversation with Spotify support when I asked them to send me invoices in a language I understood, please, since they know I use the English client but send me bills in German).

So to make my life easier, I use a VPN and pretend I'm in Australia/UK/Jersey/USA/Estonia/wherever makes most sense.

I'm happy to pay for that. So far PIA have been great. They even have a good-looking Linux client that works with Wireguard.

But if there's shadiness, then I'd like to be aware of it. I was genuinely asking where the shadiness is here.

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate reasons to use a VPN, but beyond circumventing geo-blocking and defending unencrypted protocols (which are very rare nowadays) against malicious local networks (public Wi-Fi, etc) there aren't many.

The vast majority of VPN selling points are nothing but FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Security-wise, most (all?) websites you care about now use HTTPS which provides end-to-end encryption and are thus immune to malicious networks (public Wi-Fi isn't risky at all despite what some VPN ads say), and even if not, then the VPN isn't bulletproof either as it merely shifts the unencrypted traffic from your "local network -> server" to "VPN provider -> server" which might actually attrack more scrutiny from malicious actors as they've now got to only tap a single point and get lots of unencrypted traffic. Privacy-wise the biggest threats to your privacy are advertising companies and social networks, which will track you just as well if you're on a VPN based on cookies or browser fingerprinting (a VPN alone wouldn't protect you - I guess if you clear your cookies before switching to the VPN and never allow cookies to cross-over between VPN/non-VPN you might have a chance, but surprisingly this is never mentioned in any of their ads).

At least in America there's a significant special case of malicious networks: ISPs that track their customer's browsing, inject ads, or both. Being a paying customer doesn't protect against this and ESNI/ECH are neither universal nor neutral in whose sites are protected. For that matter ESNI/ECH traffic is now being blocked by the Great Firewall of China and at least one major Russian Telco.


Not OMG SHADY! but definitely gives me cause for concern. As one comment said: "Trust and ethics are important."

The economics make sense to me. I’ve ran a VPN for 10 (concurrent!) people on a $5 droplet. If I charged them PIA prices (monthly), that’s $95 a month in profit. The insane 3 year or 2 year deals are obviously subsidized by continuous sign ups, meaning constant in your face ad placement is necessary.

I’d even say they’re probably making direct profit from the $2.69 a month plan too. Essentially all VPN providers do is resell bandwidth, just at an insane upcharge in the name of “privacy”.

Running a VPN for 10 people is very different from running a heavily-advertised VPN for thousands of people.

You got away with it because those 10 people are trustworthy and didn't use the VPN for malicious activities (or they managed to fly under the radar).

Now try actually advertise that VPN like the big VPN providers do and see how you fare. You'll get your droplet and entire DigitalOcean account shut down in no time, and the administrative overhead of having to deal with all the abuse reports and support queries will make it unsustainable.


> The insane 3 year or 2 year deals are obviously subsidized by continuous sign ups, meaning constant in your face ad placement is necessary.

So essentially it's a pyramid scheme then.

I agree that the VPN industry is shady, I agree that the claims they make border on fraud. I was just saying cash wise, these guys have to be rolling in it.

I'm sure there are backhaul providers that will turn a blind eye to constant abuse reports. And since we agree that these companies are shady I can't imagine they have too big of a team that handles these. They probably forward them to users and call it a day. Too many in a short period of time? Close the account.

> So essentially it's a pyramid scheme then.

Of course this is speculation, but it makes logical sense to me. Imagine how many people will sign up for the 2/3 year, use it a lot for the first few months and then just drop off? PIA gets a large payment upfront, on an already high margin business, allowing them to spend insane money on advertisements or YouTube placements, netting them more customers who sign up for the year bundles. Rinse and repeat.

They’re incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and no one can find out the names of the directors/owners/CEO/people in charge.

That’s not shady to you, especially for a company that sells privacy?

So what you're saying is, the people in charge are really good at privacy? And this is a problem?


Yes because giving your privacy to someone requires trust if you want it to stay privacy.

They should have used the "Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich" model like Google.

you compare aggressive teams with literally billions of dollars to an un-ending network activity that generates more costs than new nickels? have you ever been actually poor and yet working every day? stunningly insensitive, not funny

Andrew Lee of Mt Gox fame is your guy. Also claims to be the crown prince of Korea.

What if it is the NSA instead?

He's mentioned in the paste.

They sell privacy but it would have been obvious from the very beginning that they’re going to be a magnet for illegal activity. I would probably do the same thing if I were them.

Sounds like they know how to keep private.

And that’s the problem. How do you know they are not a state actor?

I don't care tbh.

The threat I'm protecting against isn't the state reading my emails, it's Spotify (for example, but there are many, many more) refusing to sign me up because my IP is in a different country to my bank account.

Or every single bloody website on the internet ignoring my browser's preferred language settings and serving me content in the language that they think my IP address comes from.

Not OP. I am not sure about PIA. But I had recently done some research on VPNs since I was interested in getting one. From what I remember, most of the VPN services are owned by a few companies. And those companies don't seem to have a track record of good security or acting in the best interests of the customer (selling data, giving up logs, etc). My takeaway from that research was that I need to be real careful when trying to choose a VPN service provider and keep track of acquisitions.

For anyone that wants a less shady VPN, I've found Mullvad[1] to be very good. They take privacy to the next level, where you can literally mail them an envelope full of cash with your anonymous login key and they'll top up the credit on the account. I also like Mullvad because they seem to spend approximately $0 on marketing (at least compared to the other guys) and don't do any of those bullshitty perpetual "limited-time offer" shenanigans.

If you're American and want a VPN based in America (not the Virgin Islands etc), I've found TorGuard[2] to be very good as well.

[1] https://mullvad.net/en/

[2] https://torguard.net/

Or just get a dedicated server or vps somewhere and run OpenVPN or wire guard. There is no shortage of cheap vps providers so you could create deploy scripts and rotate your vpn endpoint regularly

Disclaimer: I’ve been doing just that for 13 years now

Which is trivially traceable back to you and therefore defeats the purpose of providing anonymity. Much of the value of one of these VPN services is they effectively launder your traffic by mixing it with that of their other clients.

Yeah I guess it _is_ illegal to tumble bitcoins now

PIA was aquired by a company that some consider to have a shady past.


Thanks for the link :) Though that top comment seems to explain that situation fairly well? Reading the rest of the thread it looks like FUD and the usual HN mess, is there any actual evidence of shadiness since the merger?

Don't forget about rasengans cryptocurrency scheme that Freenode has been helping to promote.

what freenode needs here is for users and projects to roundly reject andrew lee. If the userbase pulls together and stays the course, the network can survive, or at least remain whole enough to move to their new IRC network as soon as it's available.

Best of luck.

So, I know that this letter was apparently a draft and wasn't meant to be published, and the people involved have not made any decisions yet—I'm assuming this just means they wanted to sync up their resignations and someone accidentally messed up, and it's not like the content of the letter itself is wrong or untrue. So with that in mind I'm curious if anyone here knows more details about these things that are being alluded to:

> Sadly, some time ago, a holding company, Freenode Limited, was sold or transferred in some way to a third party by our previous head of staff

Apparently the third party is called Private Internet Access (PIA), according to other posts. Who's the previous head of staff, and how did they have the authority to sell Freenode Ltd.? How long ago did it happen? Was this ever announced or discussed among other staff, and are the exact details of the deal even known by anyone else?

Someone else also asked this, but, what are the "recent changes"? To what end is the third party company exerting control?

It feels to me like someone was at some point put in charge of Freenode, and then decided they could make a buck off of it. If that's the case then the "hostile takeover" already happened long ago the moment that person decided to sell it. But there are so many unanswered questions here that I can't be sure of anything. It's a totally vague and confusing letter, and it alludes to all sorts of troubling things without ever clearly stating exactly what they are.

Maybe in a little while all the drafts get published and we'll actually learn exactly what's going on. But then maybe there's something I'm missing, so if anyone knows please let me know.

Why are all the gist.* urls returning 404, they seem accessible through the wayback machine though.

I think they just screwed up the url and used the temporary url instead of a permanent one. Gist annoys me how they do versions and files in the gist.

> You can connect to the new network at `irc.libera.chat`, ssl port 6697 (and the usual clearnet port).

You might want to consider to shut down the clearnet port, since users will send their account passwords and all their communication inkl private messages in plaintext over the internet. I don't think that this is a good idea.

I just checked with the current freenode staff (as I'm sure a bunch of you have). I'm not sure what is going on; but the freenode staff are all in the usual place and most assuredly have not resigned.

(edit: At least, they certainly haven't resigned as of yet.)

Continuing this story from 2018 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17696035

Well, it did get written, and nobody writes messages like that unless there is a great deal of smoke and quite possibly a good sized fire. Time will tell.

I can't seem to connect to irc.libera.chat. I keep getting "bad password" constantly, even though I am not sending one.

Yes, it doesn't seem to be open publicly yet. You need a server password.

Just about every internet community I've been involved in has been taken offline or taken over by corporate interests and ruined in one way or another. I feel like some kind of vagrant as I move from place to place just trying to find people like me. So many friends have been lost over the years.

This resignation appears to have gone unannounced:


I went to the Freenode site and read the description and I still don’t know what Freenode is. Sometimes trying to understand the tech world is like zooming into the Mandelbrot set.

But what I like about this feed is that I am constantly being exposed to new things.

It's the FOSS IRC network, or if you don't know what that is, a network of chat servers where you can find official channels for many major FOSS projects, as well as a large community of people who want to discuss them in real time. At the time of writing >76k people are online.

freenode is a popular network of IRC servers aimed at open source projects and technical topics.

IRC is "internet relay chat", it's a very simple protocol, you can even telnet into an IRC server. Though there are lots of IRC clients that make it much nicer to handle multiple channels and direct messages and so on.

IRC was super popular from the 90s up until Slack showed up.

> After some rushed-through recent changes, it appears that things are changing, and that the holding company, under external control, is now exerting some control over the network via legal means.

What changes exactly? And whats the point in this message ?

Beyond the staff not resigning, I have to say it's weird to see discord flourishing when you have IRC.

You cannot add favorite channels to discord, it's hard to browse, electron is clunky, and discord is centralizing all that data.

Discord has easier user acquisition. Also anyone can set up a discord "server" and even the smallest fiefdom of power is like crack to people, so of course now there's a discord server for everything.

> fiefdom of power

I keep saying that this is something discord pushes subconsciously and it makes a lot more places unliveable.

On IRC chans feel more open and sociable than discord. On discord most servers come up with a lot more rules, a lot more steps (get a role) and people were often very tense. I had very sad and angry bouts on irc but it was rarer and about a topic disagreement / douche behaviour and not about bowing to a small group view on how to talk or laugh. It really gave a sect feeling. Then there are the slughtly5 political discord servers where you get a background check before the right to see rooms. Really odd (unless you're deep into anthropology)

That's true. irccloud exists but no discord equivalent for self-service virtual IRC hosts. And hosting an IRCd is not a simple task; even the most basic "services" like chanserv or nickserv are not simple to get running securely. Not even talking about client-side certificate authentication as supported by OFTC and suchlike.

There are irc daemons that have everything integrated such as oragono [1].

And if you just want an irc server for a couple friends you can just ignore ChanServ/NickServ.. it's not really needed (hell.. ircnet is still going strong and has no services at all!)

[1] https://github.com/oragono/oragono

Not to mention you cant even browser existing discord servers...

Right, in order to see a discord you need to join it. That is very hostile to people trying to find info locked in walled gardens (yikes) but it does let people keep toxic people out if they want to (yay.) More importantly it drives Discord's user acquisition and gives the mods of a discord an ego boost when someone joins.

Why this submission suddenly disappeared from HN front page?

Probably because it links to information that wasn't supposed to be public.

How naive can you be that a company has acquired something you volunteer for and you don’t think you work for that company?

What do people think volunteering is? Play time?

From what I understand, PIA never acquired the IRC network (which is running on servers owned by other companies, and operated by volunteers without any contract tying them to PIA), but only the name and some activities outside the IRC network.

All of the IRC channels I used to visit had very high signal to noise ratios, but I ultimately abandoned the platform for two reasons:

1) Penetration testers relentlessly scanned my IP address every time I connected.

2) Endless PMs pleaded for help recovering accounts with "forgotten" passwords on various servers.

I never fell victim, but got tired of feeling like a target.

>1) Penetration testers relentlessly scanned my IP address every time I connected.

You probably mean the very boring automated open proxy scan that every IRC network runs.

Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't aware of this defensive mechanism and only noticed the suspicious probes.

Most IRC networks actually advertise this on every login, so it seems like you failed to read that…

"wrong password" error when connecting to irc.libera.chat

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