[conspire] End of Freenode IRC network as we know it; vive Libera.Chat

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed May 19 10:25:34 PDT 2021

Quoting verbatim from https://blog.bofh.it/debian/id_461 (and it's sad
to see the legacy of Rob 'lilo' Levin (probably) end this way):


Wed, 19 May 2021
My resignation from freenode

As it is now known, the freenode IRC network has been taken over by a
Trumpian wannabe korean royalty bitcoins millionaire. To make a long
story short, the former freenode head of staff secretly "sold" the
network to this person even if it was not hers to sell, and our lawyers
have advised us that there is not much that we can do about it without
some of us risking financial ruin. Fuck you Christel, lilo's life work
did not deserve this.

What you knew as freenode after 12:00 UTC of May 19 will be managed by
different people.

As I have no desire to volunteer under the new regime, this marks the
end of my involvement with freenode. It had started in 1999 when I
encouraged the good parts of #linux-it to leave ircnet, and soon after I
became senior staff. Even if I have not been very active recently, at
this point I was the longest-serving freenode staff member and now I
expect that I will hold this record forever.

The people that I have met on IRC, on freenode and other networks, have
been and still are a very important part of my life, second only to the
ones that I have known thanks to Usenet. I am not fine, but I know that
the communities which I have been a part of are not defined by a domain
name and will regroup somewhere else.

The current freenode staff members have resigned with me, these are some
of their farewell messages:



More-conventional news coverage is available at LWN:


Several readers have alerted us to some serious problems at freenode,
which runs an IRC network that is popular in the free-software world.
Evidently there has been a change of control within the volunteer-run
organization that has led to the resignations of multiple different
volunteers, at least in part due to a concern about the personal
information of freenode users under the new management. "The freenode
resignation FAQ" has collected a bunch of information (and links to even
more resignation letters) that may help shed some light on this mess.
>From the FAQ: "Freenode staff have stepped down. The network that runs
at freenode.org/net/com should now be assumed to be under control of a
malicious party." In the meantime, many of the volunteers who resigned
have formed Libera.Chat to continue the legacy of freenode. LWN will be
keeping an eye on the situation, stay tuned ...


The person discussed, a Mr. Andrew Lee, two years ago formed a company
called Freenode, Ltd. that, according to now-departed staff, was said at
the time to have been formed solely to provide a legal entity to operate
the Freenode Live conference, and some contract was formed for that
purpose, _but_ according to some of the many staff who have resigned
en-masse, also got ownership of Freenode's Internet domains.  This would
appear to have been an epic blunder, and has made possible the current
contention and mass resignations.

I can verify that Internet domains freenode.net/com/org now show
"freenode Limited" as Registrant.  Seems as if the person who entrusted
the domains to Mr. Lee made a blunder.

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