[Replicant] The IRC situation and Freenode hostile takeover

Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli GNUtoo at cyberdimension.org
Wed Jun 9 15:47:14 UTC 2021


In order to enable more people to more easily get in touch with the
Replicant community and to be more inclusive, over time we bridged
the #replicant channel on Freenode with #replicant channels on other
networks (OFTC and hackint), some of which are more welcoming to
anonymous users. There is more background information about that in our

Since then Freenode has been victim of a hostile takeover according to
their former volunteer staff[2]. Thanks to the work of people from that
former staff, Freenode was forked into Libera.Chat, so it's relatively
simple for users to migrate to Libera.Chat (after registering, the
configuration is quite similar to Freenode. For instance it supports
SASL too).

So I think that we need to migrate over to other IRC networks due to
the risk of having a hostile entity seeing so much data going through it
(IP address, emails, statements from people, connecting hours, etc).

I also don't know the motives behind the take over, but if it is for
commercial interest, if we let it become profitable it could set a
dangerous precedent where people and companies could raise funds
and invest in the destruction of crucial FLOSS infrastructure.

Given the risk (which seem to be very high given the retaliation
against projects migrating to Libera.Chat)[3], I think it's urgent to
migrate away from Freenode.

We are in the process of closing the Freenode channel completely and
stop bridging it with other channels, but we probably also need to give
a little bit of time to let people migrate to other networks.

Would one week be enough? Two weeks?

To do that migration, the people still connected through Freenode need
to quit the #replicant channel on freenode (/part will do that for
instance) and connect to #replicant through other IRC networks like
Libera.Chat[4], OFTC[5], or hackint[6].

Since many other free software and open source projects are migrating
too, the effort to connect (and register if you want/need) to other
networks will also enable you to more easily get in touch with them.


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