We’re excited to announce the launch of Libera.Chat, and welcome you to a next-generation IRC network for free and open source software projects and similarly-spirited collaborative endeavours.
Most of our staff have joined us from #freenode, and we intend to continue its legacy. It was a privilege to provide the FOSS world with a collaborative platform.
When freenode announced that it was joining with Private Internet Access in 2017, the domain name, as well as unspecified other “assets”, were sold to one Andrew Lee via a holding company. Staff were uncertain but assured that PIA was to have no operational influence.
In early 2021, that changed. New advertising was pushed onto the freenode website without warning. The head of staff at the time ultimately resigned rather than explain. In the time since, there have been changes to network operations for which we have received no explanation.
This was the writing on the wall. As a precautionary measure, we began laying the groundwork for what would become Libera.Chat. Our legal home is a non-profit association in Sweden, with all our staff holding equal stakes, and we will never accept corporate control.
Control of freenode infrastructure will soon be transferred to Freenode Limited and its agents. This means your data will soon be available to their personnel. We don’t know these people; neither do most of you. We can’t claim that this is a good or even acceptable outcome, and are loath to entrust your data to a third party, but it appears that we have run out of options.
Together we have built and participated in great communities with IRC, and hope to continue that journey with you on Libera.Chat. We have courageous ambitions for the future of IRC and the communities that we cherish. Please join us on this adventure.