Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Embed
What would you like to do?

The Freenode resignation FAQ, or: "what the fuck is going on?"

IMPORTANT NOTE:

It's come to my attention that some people have been spamming issue trackers with a link to this gist. While it's a good idea to inform people of the situation in principle, please do not do this. By all means spread the word in the communities that you are a part of, after verifying that they are not aware yet, but unsolicited spam is not helpful. It will just frustrate people.

Update 3 (May 24, 2021)

A number of things have happened since the last update.

  • Andrew broke Freenode policies to steal a channel
  • ... and then unilaterally changed the Freenode policies afterwards to try and retroactively justify it - later adding a note claiming it's a draft, but the PR has already been merged.
  • That change also removed the rule against hateful speech on the network, at the same time.
  • The channel #freenode-policy-feedback was indicated as the venue for discussion and feedback around the policy changes. After a number of inconvenient (and as of yet unanswered) questions from various users, Andrew sent the people in #freenode to the channel, quickly turning it into an argumentative mess full of trolling, and drowning the (still unanswered) questions.

Andrew was repeatedly asked in the "policy discussion channel" whether slurs, racism and transphobia are now permitted on Freenode. No answer has been forthcoming. This is the clearest answer that has been provided at the time of writing:

[21:18:02 CEST] <joepie91> rasengan: If you need an example: Will racial slurs be tolerated within network policy? What about racism in general, or transphobia?
[21:22:24 CEST] <sellow> rasengan: Is racism, for example referring to groups of people using a derogatory term, now permitted under the network policy?
[21:22:57 CEST] <rasengan> sellow: This is a great question that absolutely requires community feedback. I can't answer to it because the former freenode staff used derogatory terms so its still unclear to me, I'm still trying to understand the policy. Again, community feedback is appreciated.
[21:23:06 CEST] <rasengan> Please stop asking questions as it relates to this topic as that is the answer.
[21:23:18 CEST] <rasengan> (Community feedback is required)
[21:24:14 CEST] <joepie91> rasengan: am I understanding correctly that you are leaving "whether slurs, racism and transphobia are allowed on Freenode" to "community feedback"?
[21:26:23 CEST] <rasengan> joepie91/ave_: I'm not really, again, even clear how that's defined and handled as per current standing freenode policy, draft or not, given the previous staff engagement in said activity. We're asking for community feedback, as 'rules' that the community must follow should be determined with the community, not without.

Chatter from other users has been snipped from the above excerpt for readability. As usual, the full logs with full context are available for your perusal.

Not a clear answer by any stretch of the imagination, but I think everybody knows what such a non-answer really means when someone has been actively avoiding the question for over an hour.

After someone asked what the purpose of the channel was since no questions seemed to get answered, and I pointed out that it seemed like a sinkhole for criticism, both I and the question asker(!) were banned by Andrew.

Update 2

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. Andrew Lee will likely gain control over the NickServ database at some point.

I recommend that you move to libera.chat as soon as possible, as the former Freenode staff has left the network that exists on the Freenode domains, and so they can no longer guarantee the safety of your information or community there. Basically, libera.chat is the continuation of Freenode.

(A special note for marginalized communities: I won't go into the details further in this gist, but I personally believe that Freenode will not be a safe place for you going forward.)

Update 1

Since this gist was originally written, things have taken a turn for the worse, and two Freenode staffers have stepped down. Their resignation letters describe the situation in quite a bit of detail:

What it appears to come down to, is that Andrew Lee is attempting to essentially take over the network by drowning staff in lawyers.

It also turns out that my understanding of Andrew being "locked out" from the domain may have been wrong, and in fact they only recently gained access that they previously didn't have. This is all still a bit unclear, though.

Original post below.

Disclaimer

Hi! I wrote this FAQ to give people a bit more insight into what's going on with Freenode, Andrew Lee, and the leaked resignation letters.

I want to be very clear about this: I am not a Freenode staffer, and this document only contains information from public channels. There are no scoops here, and while I believe that my understanding of the situation is accurate, it's always possible that it's not. Much of this information is correlated from statements made and sources provided by other people.

I have not sought permission from Freenode staff to write this FAQ, nor have I told them that I would do so. They've not verified any of the information in here, nor have I asked them to. In short: they are not involved in this FAQ whatsoever.

Also, my personal view on the situation is that Andrew Lee is decidedly in the wrong here, and has no legitimate claim to Freenode (the IRC network and voluntary association). I believe that his intentions are malicious, and that he should under no circumstances gain control over the network, nor access to its user data. Just so that you know where I'm coming from.

Now, with that out of the way...

OK, so what's going on?

You're probably here because you've read a resignation letter from a Freenode staffer, indicating that they are stepping down. You might've asked around about the reasons, and heard that actually, they haven't stepped down, it was just a leaked draft. WTF?

So, let's start: Andrew Lee is, indirectly, the owner of a company named "Freenode Limited". Despite what the name implies, this company actually has nothing to do with the operation of the Freenode IRC network, really; it was apparently established to handle Freenode Live finances. However, through a number of vague historical events, the company also gained control over the Freenode domain names.

Importantly, this company has absolutely no operational involvement. It does not own any servers, it does not employ any of the staff. It does not sponsor any infrastructure. All the staff are unpaid volunteers, and all the servers are sponsored by third parties - on a rolling basis. No contracts exist between either Freenode Limited and the staff, or between Freenode Limited and the sponsors. Literally the only piece of infrastructure that Freenode Limited (claims to) own, are the domain names. No money flows from Freenode Limited to the operational side of the network.

Now, it seems that Andrew Lee - despite zero involvement in the day-to-day operations of Freenode - has decided that ownership of the domains entitles him to ownership of Freenode as a network and community, and intended to give his own people administrative access to the network, without involving the staff team in this decision.

The details are vague at this point, but it's safe to say that the staff disagreed - Andrew was apparently locked out of the domains, and the staff team collectively drafted resignation letters, to be published in the event that Andrew would misuse his domain ownership to do a hostile takeover of the network.

Crucially, stepping down and moving to another network would be a last resort, and staff had no intention of stepping down unless there was no other option. Through an error, one of these letters - linking to the others - was found by Andrew Lee and others, before it was intended to be published.

Andrew has not yet regained access to the domains. At the time of writing, none of the staff have made the decision to step down. It is, however, still very much up in the air.

Freenode Limited has failed to file its company filings in time, and is scheduled to be struck from the company register. Andrew appears to be under the strange impression that it is the volunteer staff's responsibility to do the filings, despite them having no contract nor affiliation with the company whatsoever, and receiving no payment. I am unaware of the details, but some sort of legal threats are also flying around.

If you have some free time, these logs contain a lot of information about the situation. In those logs, rasengan is Andrew Lee. There's also these logs preceding them, from the main #freenode channel - they provide a bit more insight into the start of the incident.

What does this mean for my channel or community on Freenode?

Freenode staff have stepped down. The network that runs at freenode.org/net/com should be assumed to be under control of a malicious party. I'd recommend moving your community to libera.chat as soon as possible.

Right now: nothing. Andrew does not currently have control over the domain, nor do he or any of his associates have access to any of the Freenode infrastructure. The infrastructure is, at the time of writing, fully controlled by the staff team that you've come to know and maybe even love.

This may change. If Andrew were to regain domain access and attempt a hostile takeover of the network through that access, the Freenode staff will in all likelihood step down. Since the relations of server sponsors are with the staff team, not with Andrew Lee, it is very likely that the entire network infrastructure will come along with wherever the staff decides to go.

In other words: in this event, Freenode as a network will cease to exist. The domain name will point at either nothing, or at completely different infrastructure run by completely different people (on behalf of Andrew Lee), which shares nothing with the Freenode of old other than the name. The old infrastructure run by the staff team may reappear under a new name, or be decommissioned.

However, Andrew has not exactly made himself popular with the community (see the logs linked above). He's also made it quite clear that his intentions are not to act in the best interest of the community, and he has failed to answer many crucial questions, including questions about the dubious finances of Freenode Limited. It's possible that he realizes that he has nothing to win here, and decides to hand over the domains to the current staff. In this case, nothing will change at all.

Realistically, the best approach for you as a community leader right now is to remain calm, and closely watch for updates from the staff. If action is required to eg. move your community, you will likely be made aware of this. It's probably a good idea to start thinking about contingency plans for the worst-case scenario, though.

@minecraftchest1

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@minecraftchest1 minecraftchest1 commented May 19, 2021

Shared on my blog. https://wp.me/pcDxr8-5h

@nsturtz

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@nsturtz nsturtz commented May 19, 2021

Thank you @joepie91

@dollhaus

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@dollhaus dollhaus commented May 19, 2021

Andrew Lee will likely gain control over the NickServ database at some point.

Would it not be possible, somehow, to take it with us and/or destroy it? It might cause some temporary confusion, but I imagine it's a better option than allowing it to languish in the hands of a potentially hostile party, where passwords that may have remained unchanged for many years might be used to access more than just IRC handles

@two-dogs

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@two-dogs two-dogs commented May 19, 2021

it would be nice to hear from the other side

@guruevi

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@guruevi guruevi commented May 20, 2021

it would be nice to hear from the other side
Seconded, this story sounds very spiteful, not at all a true account of what probably transpired.

@AdamWhiteHat

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@AdamWhiteHat AdamWhiteHat commented May 20, 2021

The Server Freenode, a eulogy

The trust erode,
lies were told,
he paved inroads on the server freenode.

The packets slowed,
as the clients exode,
death was forebode for the server freenode.

Forever gone are the days of old,
this chapter now closed, if truth be told,
thanks to Andrew Lee, Crown Prince of Chode,
who thought he owned the server freenode.

@kamilion

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kamilion kamilion commented May 20, 2021

Um, hi, ex-oper here from Snoonet before it was taken over by RDV and Lee. These guys are duplicitous actors with bad intentions, and solely concerned with trying to accrue money. Beware.

Despite this story sounding very spiteful, it is a reasonable portrayal of the events thus far from an otherwise neutral third party with no dog in the race other than 'I'd like to keep the park I chat in free of refuse'.

@levihb

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@levihb levihb commented May 20, 2021

Why should we trust you?

Edit: Really why should we trust any of you? Looking through Ariadne's logs I don't think these people should be controlling it anyway, how sad does your life have to be that you fantasize over banning people:

[23:07:57] <nirvana> you can ban your enemies.
[23:08:01] <nirvana> im turning tomaw
[23:08:01] <Ariadne> i don't have enemies
[23:08:07] <nirvana> and jess in to a bot.
[23:08:22] <nirvana> i know you don't, we're older now
[23:08:25] <nirvana> more mature
[23:08:31] <nirvana> i was just trying to make you laugh
[23:08:52] <nirvana> dont tell me that sweet revenge of a kline /fuckyou - just ONE to those people who dissed on charybdis
[23:08:59] <nirvana> wouldn't make you feel good
@kamilion

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kamilion kamilion commented May 20, 2021

You shouldn't. Just as you shouldn't trust them. But there is a verifiable history of Snoonet's takeover from it's original founders, which, if you wish, you may dig deeper into. Jess provides some more logs and links, check the resignation reference [7], I believe it was. Yes, it is [7], among others.

Good ol' archive.org still remembers.
http://web.archive.org/web/20141218094306/http://snoonet.com/

@nsturtz

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@nsturtz nsturtz commented May 20, 2021

Can you provide some logs of this?

@aghast

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@aghast aghast commented May 20, 2021

As a relative ignoramus, I have to say I'm not impressed. So far all I've seen is a bunch of posts from people hating on Andrew Lee and announcing their resignations. And warnings that, "Oh noes, he'll have access to nickserv data."

Since my "nickserv data" consists of my login and password and email, and since I assume that all that information is insecurely blasted across the wire whenever I start IRC, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be alarmed about.

So, for anyone who may actually have a real clue, can you help me and a bunch of other users out? WHY should I give a rat's ass about this? Those of us who don't already have some high-drama relationship with the office politics of freenode are curious, and (at least I am) willing to listen to a coherent story about what this all means. But none of y'all have the leadership skills and street cred to just yell "Follow me to my new URL where I'll get all the SEO points!" and get the results you seem to want.

@kamilion

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kamilion kamilion commented May 20, 2021

So, for anyone who may actually have a real clue, can you help me and a bunch of other users out? WHY should I give a rat's ass about this?

For the most part, you won't have to. The channels you visit will either move or they won't. But at least several major open source projects have already made the decision they don't want to trust 'the new freenode' and more are expected to follow.

This is more an alert for us folks that care more about security, infrastructure, and trust-webs, than $$$, to be aware that there are changes coming that we may not be prepared for, and people who are known to actively exploit and burn trust relations for short-term profit have used legal strong-arming to wrestle their way into control over a volunteer-run infrastructure. Many of those volunteers repeatedly proved their trust via their actions; and I personally consider myself a better person for having known and interacted with them, in some cases for over a decade.

But none of y'all have the leadership skills and street cred to just yell "Follow me to my new URL where I'll get all the SEO points!"

Unfortunately, this is exactly what most of us view Andrew and Shane's actions will end up in. They really seem to want to break freenode up just so they can drag what's left into their irc dot com commercial project.

I'm just another chatter; like the OP of this gist. The only thing this will affect for me is what servers I have to configure in ZNC to figure out where all of the 120 freenode channels I'm in will move to. Wouldn't be surprised if merely participating in this thread earned me a k-line.

@shadowcat-mst

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shadowcat-mst shadowcat-mst commented May 20, 2021

@aghast "But none of y'all have the leadership skills and street cred"

Yeah. Actually. The volunteer team that have moved from freenode to libera do have that for a lot of us.

You can see from my gist here just how many communities are giving serious considerationt to "screw you, we're moving to libera": https://gist.github.com/shadowcat-mst/998cea12794768bdb3da2daeff31baad

@kubast2

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kubast2 kubast2 commented May 20, 2021

As a relative ignoramus, I have to say I'm not impressed. So far all I've seen is a bunch of posts from people hating on Andrew Lee and announcing their resignations. And warnings that, "Oh noes, he'll have access to nickserv data."

Since my "nickserv data" consists of my login and password and email, and since I assume that all that information is insecurely blasted across the wire whenever I start IRC, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be alarmed about.

So, for anyone who may actually have a real clue, can you help me and a bunch of other users out? WHY should I give a rat's ass about this? Those of us who don't already have some high-drama relationship with the office politics of freenode are curious, and (at least I am) willing to listen to a coherent story about what this all means. But none of y'all have the leadership skills and street cred to just yell "Follow me to my new URL where I'll get all the SEO points!" and get the results you seem to want.

You can use ssl(iirc hashing would start at the server) or use a certificate based auth.

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 20, 2021

@aghast
It's not just "a bunch of people". Here's what /stats p currently reports on freenode:

09:34 [fn] -!- p 0 staff members
09:34 [fn] -!- p End of /STATS report

Literally the entire freenode operator staff has left freenode. So then the question becomes, what really matters here, the people who have actually run it for the past decade or more, or some company that now owns the domain name? I'm also curious what's going to happen with freenode's servers, since as far as I understand those are sponsored by hosting companies who have ties with the people who have now resigned, not with Andrew Lee or his "freenode ltd".

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 20, 2021

@levihb
Who are you referring to with "these people"? Since that person apparently works for Andrew Lee (from the irc logs):

17:13:38 < zoite> A_D, he also hired rdv, the previous owner of snoonet, which was found to be logging and spying on users private messages to eachother over the network
17:15:13 < A_D> rdv also attempted to bribe some prominent freenode community members with oper access on freenode recently
17:15:53 < A_D> under the name `nirvana` I believe
@kurahaupo

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kurahaupo kurahaupo commented May 20, 2021

@mvduin I've spoken with several of the staff both on freenode and now on libera, so I'm pretty clear on their position, but /stats p isn't exactly the best estimator, because it's been saying 0 most of the time for years.

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 20, 2021

@kurahaupo Ah, I didn't know that! Then I stand corrected on that point. Do you happen to know to what extent there are any long-time operators left on freenode?

@bghira

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@bghira bghira commented May 20, 2021

there's several left. this post is full of misinformation & FUD.

@CyberShadow

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@CyberShadow CyberShadow commented May 20, 2021

#freenode has been quiet for the past few hours, so it doesn't look like any staff are still online (or at least answering support requests in the manner that they usually do).

@jharrison03

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@jharrison03 jharrison03 commented May 20, 2021

So this hissy-fit is all about Mr. Lee being a supposed "Trump supporter"?

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 20, 2021

@jharrison03 lol what, no? This is about Mr. Lee performing a hostile takeover of freenode using legal force despite previous promises to the freenode staff (the unpaid volunteers who actually built and ran the network) that the legal ownership was just a formality required for the freenode live event and would not affect operations of the freenode network itself. Read a few of the 11 resignation letters for the details.

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 20, 2021

@jharrison03 Where did you even get this silly idea? Political views have literally nowhere been a topic of discussion in all of this. The subject has not come up in any of the irc logs, resignation letters, or other statements from people involved.

@nsturtz

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@nsturtz nsturtz commented May 20, 2021

#freenode has been quiet for the past few hours, so it doesn't look like any staff are still online (or at least answering support requests in the manner that they usually do).

they put it in #freenode and they also made it so that nobody can change the topic at all.

@DiagonalArg

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@DiagonalArg DiagonalArg commented May 20, 2021

I'm an outsider to this, but poking around trying to find out what's happening ... this appears to be Alex Lee's statement.

And this was the HackerNews post.

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 21, 2021

https://hackaday.com/2021/05/20/freenode-debacle-prompts-staff-exodus-new-network/ presents interesting background info on Lee, which does make it sound to me it's possible his actions might be merely misguided rather than malicious.

@Naleksuh

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@Naleksuh Naleksuh commented May 21, 2021

Don't trust a word joepie91 says. His own IRC server got hacked previously and he thought that echoing "cocks" to the log file would fix the security role ( see https://www.exploit-db.com/raw/42901 for details). You should never take any security advice from joepie91 whether that be about IRC or anything else for that matter

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 21, 2021

@Naleksuh I don't see how that is relevant, he's not giving security advice nor is there any need to "trust" him. This gist is just a summary of external sources that have been linked to, you can just read the original sources instead (which are also easy to find by independent means).

@Naleksuh

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@Naleksuh Naleksuh commented May 21, 2021

I just got linked to this gist and was about to read it but stopped as soon as I saw the author name

@DiagonalArg

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@DiagonalArg DiagonalArg commented May 21, 2021

@mvduin - I'm unsure now on the question of this being misguided. It does appear to me that the "Prince" set up a holding company and a shadow board, using bribes to try to stock the latter, apparently with the intention of making a move for control beyond just the domain names. I'm a bit fuzzy on who first brought in a lawyer, but I would have to say that it would have been stupid for staff to make any threatening legal moves, given his deep pockets and their lack thereof.

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 22, 2021

@DiagonalArg I was just wondering (without any intent to imply that this is actually the case) if it's possible he genuinely believed that he owned freenode and that he was saving it from hostile action by tomaw (using legal action). From the hackaday article it kinda sounds like he has a bit of a messiah complex. I also don't really know what the story is behind the dude who was looking for operators on his behalf (rdv / nirvana), what exactly his role was in all of this or what Lee asked him to do.

Of course it might also just be a nice bullshit story. It certainly doesn't excuse how he handled things regardless.

@digital-pet

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@digital-pet digital-pet commented May 22, 2021

Don't trust a word joepie91 says. His own IRC server got hacked previously and he thought that echoing "cocks" to the log file would fix the security role ( see https://www.exploit-db.com/raw/42901 for details). You should never take any security advice from joepie91 whether that be about IRC or anything else for that matter

Please be sure to share with the class that you're linking to a decade old chatlog at the bottom of a zine published in 2012 and not anything even remotely recent. I'm sure I was dumb as a rock when I was a teenager too.

https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/42901

I just got linked to this gist and was about to read it but stopped as soon as I saw the author name

Doubtful.

@Naleksuh

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@Naleksuh Naleksuh commented May 22, 2021

Fortunately his incompetence has not changed since then so it still works out.

@digital-pet

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@digital-pet digital-pet commented May 22, 2021

Fortunately his incompetence has not changed since then so it still works out.

For some reason I doubt your credibility. Funny that.

@cmpunches

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@cmpunches cmpunches commented May 22, 2021

The network that runs at freenode.org/net/com should now be assumed to be under control of a malicious party.

Sounds like slander when something changed that he didn't like.

@joepie91

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Owner Author

@joepie91 joepie91 commented May 22, 2021

Let's stop with the coordinated trolling and harassment campaign, yes?

Selection_999(175)
Selection_999(176)
Selection_999(174)

@DiagonalArg

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@DiagonalArg DiagonalArg commented May 22, 2021

@mvduin - Well, how do you see grabbing the domain names without any input from broader staff, setting up a holding company under false pretenses, creating a shadow board, using bribes - even if at one remove - to try to give the board legitimacy, and then as I say there were legal threats though I rather doubt the staff were any threat him. This all seems like an agenda carried out in a deliberate, concerted manner.

@joepie91

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link
Owner Author

@joepie91 joepie91 commented May 22, 2021

I have no interest in dealing with assholes attacking me or other good-faith commenters, and any such comments will be removed.

@kurahaupo

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kurahaupo kurahaupo commented May 23, 2021

@bghira wrote [apropos the old ops]:

there's several left

There were a few whose network connections remained active for a while, but to the best of my recollection, they've all gone now and none of the current staff on freenode have been staff for more than a few days.

As at 2021-05-23T16:00+1000, there are just 5 people and 8 nicks acting as ops in #freenode:

nicks user registered type
foxy LoveAbleElf 19 Jan 2016 human
poison poisonifc 5 Apr 2021 human
rasengan rasengan 29 Jul 2010 human
ryzen sorcerer 15 Aug 2019 human
sorcerer sorcerer 15 Aug 2019 secondary
sygyn sygyn 11 Dec 2014 service bot
tjr tjr 6 May 2013 human
trip-cloud tjr 6 May 2013 secondary

Given the registration date for poisonifc, one can't help but suspect they were introduced to freenode by rasengan, especially as they acquired their current nick on 20 May 2021.

My sense is that the historical use of the term "staff" has been a major stumbling point. Obviously the original intention was to differentiate the system operators from the channel operators, but in a corporate setting "staff" are hired top-down through a chain of managers; even "volunteer staff" are accepted on this basis.

I've never seen a corporate that deviated from this structure.

Even strong grass-roots entities such as Linux Australia still have either delegated gatekeepers or plenary meetings for confirming appointments.

So Lee could be excused for assuming that "owning" freenode obliged him to take that role, even if his intention was to avoid being involved in day-to-day operations.

However even given that, I find the lack of transparency in appointing these new people to be quite disturbing; why was there no call put out for volunteers and/or nominations among freenode's users?

@DiagonalArg

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@DiagonalArg DiagonalArg commented May 23, 2021

So Lee could be excused for assuming that "owning" freenode obliged him to take that role, even if his intention was to avoid being involved in day-to-day operations.

"owning" freenode? He owned the domain names, and that on the basis of dealing with one person. Even in his post of various texts/signal messages, he responded in a way that claimed to recognize that it was proper that everyone would make decisions in a collective manner. All the while, he was working to undermine that and consolidate his own control.

@kurahaupo

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kurahaupo kurahaupo commented May 23, 2021

update: I've scanned the history in #freenode and found a few more ops:

nicksuserregisteredtype
keitwo(not registered)human
t-42t-4220 May 2021human
v8v8 (~MurdockW)19 May 2021human

Who now runs freenode?

These are the people that are supposed to provide the "soul" of freenode; to implement the operational guidance and interpret the spirit of its rules and conventions.

None of these users seems to have any experience as a freenode system operator (staff), though I've heard rumours that some of them have occupied the corresponding role on other chat services. So even without direction by rasegan, and simply because these are new people who've had no time to learn its culture, we will be very fortunate indeed if this does not result in a marked change to how freenode behaves towards its users, and therefore the type of user who will be attracted.

Do any of them even have experience as channel operators within freenode, where at least they would have watched and learned from the previous staff?

I hope I'm wrong, but this smells like rasegan plus 4 sock puppets, with just 3 being users with any standing in the freenode community. Please can anyone give me a more charitable interpretation?

@kurahaupo

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@kurahaupo kurahaupo commented May 23, 2021

@DiagonalArg
Much has been made of what was or wasn't transferred to Lee.
The question should be what did Lee genuinely believe he had taken ownership of?

There have been suggestions that he has some kind of childhood emotional connection to IRC as a safe haven that he wants to preserve.

But he's an entrepreneur who probably thinks that most "valuable things" are created by people like himself, strongly motivated to succeed in business; the idea that a structure other that a corporate could create something of value is so foreign to him that it just bounces off his brain without sticking. Starting from that mindset it would take a considerable effort of will to realize that tomaw's and others' actions were not "insubordination" within an existing corporate structure, when to us it's obvious that there was no corporate structure.

If we come across as "people hating on Lee", that will polarize people and drive some of them away whom we might hope to attract to other platforms. And we may drive "the new freenode" into a panicky amoral self-defense mode, where it may block attempts to redirect channels to other platforms.

Some people will leave freenode entirely, some will stay and refuse to engage with "the haters at libera", and many of us will straddle both. I don't think I'm ever going to like Lee, or approve of this or his business practices generally, but ascribing malice is speculative and unhelpful when we need to get along in the real world.

@digital-pet

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@digital-pet digital-pet commented May 23, 2021

Frankly what confuses me is why people (such as several commenters above, one of whom I gently flamed) feel inclined to try to smear people who chose to leave freenode. Many of us liked how freenode was run and it's plain that the structure and culture of the network is changing dramatically with this takeover. There's nothing to gain from smearing the staff who left and launched libera.chat or the people who moved their channels to a new network run with the same values as pre-Andrew Lee freenode.

People have lots of reasons to be upset with how the takeover was forced on the staff, and for those of you who aren't upset about it: congrats, you have freenode and can run it how you want. People who are migrating off the network aren't suddenly going to come back because of a childish attempt to smear people who are leaving, it's only going to magnify the issue.

@minecraftchest1

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@minecraftchest1 minecraftchest1 commented May 23, 2021

People have the right to believe what they want. As for the opening poster, he is simply sharing the facts as he understands it. People will come and go as they plesse. He may be biased, but he never claims to be neutral. He also cited his sources as well as additional information.

@minecraftchest1

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@minecraftchest1 minecraftchest1 commented May 23, 2021

My opinion is that mr. Lee may not have malicious, even if it appears that way. I do not support his actions, but others might. But I don't believed that one should attack others for their belief.

@DiagonalArg

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@DiagonalArg DiagonalArg commented May 24, 2021

@kurahaupo -

The question should be what did Lee genuinely believe he had taken ownership of?

That's an interesting psychological analysis, and I don't doubt your desire to avoid polarization. I just don't know that trying to intuit his state of mind is useful. Instead, I look at the actions. If I were on the other side of those actions, I would have concluded that whatever the stated intent, whatever he may be thinking, I'm faced with a concerted and threatening process. If attempts at negotiation didn't stop the process, I'd leave. So based on what I understand of it so far, I think they made the right decision.

I understand others might not (yet?) be in the same place.

@BasedUser

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@BasedUser BasedUser commented May 24, 2021

More sus actions from #freenode-policy-feedback.

[PoV: iczero] [PoV: me]

Neither of the sides acted well -- but it is 5 AM as I'm writing this, I'll leave it to your conclusions.

Edit: fixed link

P.S. if you manage to combine both logs that'd be amazing, thanks in advance

@sif

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@sif sif commented May 24, 2021

This is all so heartbreaking.

@CarlFK

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@CarlFK CarlFK commented May 24, 2021

Maybe my post here will dampen the fire. maybe not, but here I go.

Anyone reading this either wants entertainment, or is looking for information to make their own informed decision.

I do not have any new information. I could post my plans, and then you would know what 1 of the thousands of freenode users is doing, which isn't really helpful.

Back to you the happy or upset reader. If you don't think there are enough facts to make a decision (if there were then it wouldn't be controversial) if that, then : You get to chose who you trust.

faith: 
noun
confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
(more)

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/faith

Telling someone they are trusting the wrong person is telling them they have faith in the wrong thing, it probably won't go well.

If someone has new information, great.

Personal commentary trying to change peoples choice of who to trust, I think we have just enough of that.

After all of this, it's my hunch that few if any minds were changed. People on all sides of the fight continued to do whatever it is they do. People who didn't eat meat continued to not eat it. People with bacon fetishes continued to wax poetic over pork belly. People who hate killing spiders continued to not kill spiders.

https://www.thisamericanlife.org/480/transcript

@mcpierce

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mcpierce mcpierce commented May 24, 2021

--8<[snip]--

Since my "nickserv data" consists of my login and password and email, and since I assume that all that information is insecurely blasted across the wire whenever I start IRC, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be alarmed about.
--8<[snip]--

Perhaps you should read about using SSL/TLS with IRC rather than questioning the intentions of people who know more about things?

@atoponce

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@atoponce atoponce commented May 24, 2021

It'll be interesting to see how the three major Free Software IRC networks pan out in terms of visible servers, number of channels, and connecting users.

See also https://netsplit.de/networks/top10.php.

@jharrison03

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@jharrison03 jharrison03 commented May 24, 2021

I've just been informed the "Liquid Hydrogen Tank" has just been "pressurized". Why am I getting these notifications? I assume this has something to do with Space-X?

@jharrison03

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@jharrison03 jharrison03 commented May 24, 2021

You should ask someone's permission before you send then un-soliticaied e-mail. Oehterwise, it looks like SPAM.

@gnif

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@gnif gnif commented May 25, 2021

#freenode has been quiet for the past few hours, so it doesn't look like any staff are still online (or at least answering support requests in the manner that they usually do).

They set it to +m so only moderators can see the messages. After seeing how Andrew took over a channel and then changed the rules to suit him after taking this illegal action we (The Looking Glass community #lookingglass) have decided to move away from FreeNode. No matter what the motives/rationale is, a breach of trust like this should not be taken lightly.

@unsurethinker

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@unsurethinker unsurethinker commented May 25, 2021

A few links, in case you want to mention an opinion of the other side in the FAQ:
https://gist.github.com/realrasengan/88549ec34ee32d01629354e4075d2d48 - says that Tom Wesley (tomaw, head of Freenode Staff) tried to take over the freenode.org from Andrew Lee (legal owner of the domain).
https://freenode.net/static/files/on-freenode.pdf - has a screenshot of Tomaw not wanting to give Andrew's admin access to the domain in April 2021 when Andrew found he was locked out. Then they went to lawyers.
https://gist.github.com/realrasengan/f569c5e4727d21eb939fff99cb9dc84c - a letter (May 2021) from Tomaw saying he didn't know that Andrew had problems with the domain access.

NB: libera.chat domain was registered in April 2021.


(my personal opinion:)

If that's true, then it all makes sense: Freenode Staff wanted a full control over the freenode.org. Andrew Lee refused to give it. So they moved to a new domain (libera.chat) that they do have a full control of.

Of course, when entire Freenode Staff left, Andrew Lee had to take over the freenode servers and set new ops... Because the previous ones left.

But I may be wrong...

@digital-pet

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@digital-pet digital-pet commented May 25, 2021

(my personal opinion:)

If that's true, then it all makes sense: Freenode Staff wanted a full control over the freenode.org. Andrew Lee refused to give it. So they moved to a new domain (libera.chat) that they do have a full control of.

Of course, when entire Freenode Staff left, Andrew Lee had to take over the freenode servers and set new ops... Because the previous ones left.

But I may be wrong...

You got the order of operations backwards. Freenode staff had full control of the network and then Andrew tried to assert control with a questionable legal argument based on ownership of the domain. Freenode staff started preparing for the worst and they were advised by attorneys that it'd cost more to fight than the network is worth (and a draft resignation was written at this time.) The resignation was discovered because it was hosted on an domain indexed by google, at which point the shoe dropped and any possibility of opposing the takeover without legal action was gone. So they left.

@Lagg

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@Lagg Lagg commented May 26, 2021

Wanted to note that channels which mention Libera's domain in their topic - for example in a migration notice - are being hijacked. There are claims that it was due to spam or some kind of nebulous policy about URLs. But I just saw two long lived wiki project channels I'm staff in get hijacked despite a long history of exotic (e.g. .me tld) domains in the topic otherwise. Merely 1 day after I added migration notices.

This did not happen in the staff channels, where I simply changed the topic to "Don't forget we don't live here anymore".

Here is a paste of the log from one of the channels in question. Not including the name here due to irrelevance and the fact that I don't want more people joining the dead one:

[19:57:32] *** Joins: freenodecom (~com@freenode/staff)
[19:57:32] *** freenodecom sets mode: +o freenodecom
[19:57:32] *** freenodecom changes topic to 'This channel has moved to ##channel. The topic is in violation of freenode policy: https://freenode.net/policies'
[19:57:32] <freenodecom> This channel has been reopened with respect to the communities and new users. The topic is in violation of freenode policy: https://freenode.net/policies
[19:57:32] *** freenodecom sets mode: -v Founder
[19:57:32] *** freenodecom sets mode: -v Lagg
[19:57:32] *** freenodecom sets mode: -v StaffMember
[19:57:32] *** freenodecom sets mode: -v StaffMember
[19:57:32] *** freenodecom sets mode: -ov Wiki log bot
[19:57:34] <freenodecom> The new channel is ##channel
[19:57:40] *** freenodecom sets mode: +spimf ##channel
[19:57:40] *** freenodecom sets mode: +f ##channel
[19:57:40] *** Parts: freenodecom (~com@freenode/staff) ()
@gnif

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@gnif gnif commented May 26, 2021

I can confirm this happened to me today also, my channel #lookingglass was also seized:

>chanserv< access #lookingglass list
-ChanServ- Entry Nickname/Host          Flags
-ChanServ- ----- ---------------------- -----
-ChanServ- 1     freenode-placeholder-account +AFRefiorstv [modified 2h 13m 48s ago]
-ChanServ- 2     *!*@freenode/staff/*   +Aforstv [modified 2h 13m 43s ago]
-ChanServ- 3     *!*@freenode/helper/*  +Aforstv [modified 2h 13m 43s ago]
-ChanServ- ----- ---------------------- -----
-ChanServ- End of #lookingglass FLAGS listing.
>chanserv< info #lookingglass
-ChanServ- Information on #lookingglass:
-ChanServ- Founder    : freenode-placeholder-account
-ChanServ- Registered : May 26 03:02:28 2021 (2h 13m 57s ago)
-ChanServ- *** End of Info ***
@unsurethinker

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@unsurethinker unsurethinker commented May 26, 2021

You got the order of operations backwards. Freenode staff had full control of the network and then Andrew tried to assert control with a questionable legal argument based on ownership of the domain.

Why backwards? Around April 3-11 Tomaw have taken over domain control from Andrew, and refused to give it back.

But Andrew (a legal domain owner) went to lawyers. In May 10 Tomaw apologized, and Andrew have got the control back.

Undestanding that they can't have full control over the network, Freenode Staff registered their own domain and officially moved there at May 19. Andrew had to take over whatever is left of freenode.org.

That's the chronological order.

Freenode staff started preparing for the worst and they were advised by attorneys that it'd cost more to fight than the network is worth (and a draft resignation was written at this time.)

I'm curious why did they started the fight in the first place? Why have they refused to give Andrew access to Freenode DNS in April? He was a legal owner of it after all, and they knew it.

Again, if those screenshots are true.

@ArsenArsen

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@ArsenArsen ArsenArsen commented May 26, 2021

 04:58:07 --> freenodecom (~com@freenode/staff) has joined #hakyll
 04:58:07 *** Mode #hakyll +o freenodecom by freenodecom
 04:58:07 * freenodecom has changed topic for #hakyll to: "This channel has moved to ##hakyll. The topic is in violation of freenode policy: https://freenode.net/policies"
 04:58:07 <@freenodecom> This channel has been reopened with respect to the communities and new users. The topic is in violation of freenode policy: https://freenode.net/policies
 04:58:07 *** Mode #hakyll -ov Minoru Minoru by freenodecom
 04:58:09 <@freenodecom> The new channel is ##hakyll

not the owner of this channel, but I was in it, the topic didn't even mention libera, just prior discussion did. sad to see freenode die

@BasedUser

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@BasedUser BasedUser commented May 26, 2021

@thomashomilius

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@thomashomilius thomashomilius commented May 26, 2021

https://imgur.com/a/0qEQqvO

Thomas Homilius

@unsurethinker

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@unsurethinker unsurethinker commented May 26, 2021

Some sources for another update, apparently a lot of channels are being stolen.
https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-irc/2021-May/001926.html
https://www.gentoo.org/news/2021/05/26/gentoo-freenode-channels-hijacked.html
https://mastodon.social/@fribbledom/106300421097790632

Yeah, they tried to quickly "fix" blocked channels. But they broke a lot of other channels in the process.

In their latest post they noticed that some channels have put "we've moved to libera.chat #xxx" in the topic, and blocked the channel, preventing anyone to talk in it, or even kicked all the users to force them to move.

New freenode staff thought it's unfair. If someone wanted to stay at freenode, they should be able to stay and talk. If nobody can talk in a channel then is not a channel anymore - it's just a billboard advertising another network.

So they came up with a "great" idea: "Let's fix it up quickly! Write a bot that redirects all blocked #xxx channels to open ##xxx, then users would be able to talk. Everybody would be grateful for that".

And they totally screwed it up. Not only they have not notified the owners about it in advance. But also the bot they wrote was buggy and broke a lot of active and open channels.

Andrew Lee apologised for that many times. He said that people affected should just ask the staff, and they'd give the channel back.

Then they were giving the channels back to their owners for the rest of the day. 🙂

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 27, 2021

Then they were giving the channels back to their owners for the rest of the day.

But of course things like access list and bans are gone, because why would you bother making a backup of such information before letting your hastily written bot trash hundreds of channels.

This is just such a spectacular display of technical and social incompetence.

@shentino

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shentino shentino commented May 27, 2021

As a relative ignoramus, I have to say I'm not impressed. So far all I've seen is a bunch of posts from people hating on Andrew Lee and announcing their resignations. And warnings that, "Oh noes, he'll have access to nickserv data."

Since my "nickserv data" consists of my login and password and email, and since I assume that all that information is insecurely blasted across the wire whenever I start IRC, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be alarmed about.

So, for anyone who may actually have a real clue, can you help me and a bunch of other users out? WHY should I give a rat's ass about this? Those of us who don't already have some high-drama relationship with the office politics of freenode are curious, and (at least I am) willing to listen to a coherent story about what this all means. But none of y'all have the leadership skills and street cred to just yell "Follow me to my new URL where I'll get all the SEO points!" and get the results you seem to want.

That doesn't excuse neglect or deliberate compromise.

That information may be insecurely blasted but that's no excuse for it to be mishandled while it's in nickserv custody.

It's the principle of the matter, and even on a practical level you still have to intercept the connection with a packet sniffer at the right time.

@gnif

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@gnif gnif commented May 27, 2021

and since I assume that all that information is insecurely blasted across the wire whenever I start IRC

That is what SSL and SASL are for. SSL encrypts comms while SASL does a handshake without directly sending your key over the wire. So no, it's not insecurely blasted across the wire.

@shentino

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shentino shentino commented May 27, 2021

and since I assume that all that information is insecurely blasted across the wire whenever I start IRC

That is what SSL and SASL are for. SSL encrypts comms while SASL does a handshake without directly sending your key over the wire. So no, it's not insecurely blasted across the wire.

Even if it was that still wouldn't excuse any aggravation of the issue on freenode's end if someone mishandled the information after it was already in nickserv custody

@s-chNE-O

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@s-chNE-O s-chNE-O commented May 27, 2021

After someone asked what the purpose of the channel was since no questions seemed to get answered, and I pointed out that it seemed like a sinkhole for criticism, both I and the question asker(!) were banned by Andrew.

Yeah no surprise - both of you and Andrew. Just please stop hitting on this guy as he clearly seems incompetent and/or seemingly cant cope with the situation correctly. If you continue doing so, its no wonder you got banned by him. The part of you investigating the story seems to drift into this guy bad what everyone already knows. Otherwise thanks for your summary thus far.

@shentino

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shentino shentino commented May 27, 2021

I'd like to warn everyone reading this thread to be wary and mindful about the potential for social engineering. Even when something as pithy as ego and reputation are at stake never underestimate the depths some people may be willing to stoop to save face, even if it's at the expense of someone else's.

@mk-pmb

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mk-pmb mk-pmb commented May 27, 2021

Do I understand correctly that in order to connect via the libera hidden service, I have to register a NickServ account via a non-TOR connection first?

@bigpresh

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@bigpresh bigpresh commented May 27, 2021

Do I understand correctly that in order to connect via the libera hidden service, I have to register a NickServ account via a non-TOR connection first?

That's right, yes.

@jhenstridge

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@jhenstridge jhenstridge commented May 28, 2021

That is what SSL and SASL are for. SSL encrypts comms while SASL does a handshake without directly sending your key over the wire. So no, it's not insecurely blasted across the wire.

If your IRC client says you are using the SASL PLAIN authentication mechanism, then it is sending your password as is over the TLS connection, rather than doing any sort of challenge/response handshake.

If you don't trust the server or network operators, then you should assume that they could log SASL PLAIN passwords whenever you connect.

@mvduin

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mvduin mvduin commented May 28, 2021

If your IRC client says you are using the SASL PLAIN authentication mechanism, then it is sending your password as is over the TLS connection, rather than doing any sort of challenge/response handshake.

If you don't trust the server or network operators, then you should assume that they could log SASL PLAIN passwords whenever you connect.

Yeah, PLAIN is generally used because the server needs the plaintext password to check it against a database that stores salted hashed passwords, while most challenge-response protocols require that the server stores plaintext passwords.

I suppose you could do challenge-response authentication against a database that stores salted hashed passwords by sending the salt to the client (or e.g. using the username and authentication realm as salt rather than using a random salt) but that has its own security concerns, and using challenge-response authentication usually means that if an attacker acquires a backup of the password database they'd be able to use it directly to authenticate against the server (i.e. impersonate clients).

There exist "password-authenticated key agreement" protocols that allow a client to authenticate itself to a server using a low-entropy password such that

  • a passive attacker learns nothing (even if there's no outer encryption layer)
  • an active attacker or malicious server (attempt at phishing) only gets to make one guess at the password per login attempt, and if the guess is wrong then the authentication will fail (i.e. being able to login doesn't merely authenticate the client to the server, it also authenticates the server to the client)
  • a stolen backup of the password database cannot be directly used to impersonate clients to the server (though it can, of course, be used to attempt brute-force recovery of passwords, which can be made more expensive using iterated salted hashing as usual, though the client will need to know the salt)

but unfortunately nothing uses these protocols despite being around for decades.

@mk-pmb

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@mk-pmb mk-pmb commented May 28, 2021

but unfortunately nothing uses these protocols despite being around for decades.

MineTest >= 0.4.13 uses SRP, an augmented PAKE.

@atoponce

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@atoponce atoponce commented May 28, 2021

It'll be interesting to see how the three major Free Software IRC networks pan out in terms of visible servers, number of channels, and connecting users.

See also https://netsplit.de/networks/top10.php.

Also check out https://isfreenodedeadyet.com/ for more stats.

@jhenstridge

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@jhenstridge jhenstridge commented May 28, 2021

Yeah, PLAIN is generally used because the server needs the plaintext password to check it against a database that stores salted hashed passwords, while most challenge-response protocols require that the server stores plaintext passwords

You're right that performing challenge-response on hashed passwords essentially makes the hashes into password equivalents. That can still provide some value though: assuming the hashes are salted, it means that it's unlikely the user will end up with the same hash at different sites even if they reuse the same password.

Freenode does offer other SASL mechanisms besides PLAIN, but they don't use the password: they either rely on a TLS client certificate (EXTERNAL), or a public key pair (ECDSA-NIST256P-CHALLENGE).

@unsurethinker

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@unsurethinker unsurethinker commented May 31, 2021

I collected all the links about the Frenode-Libera.chat split from both sides here:

https://gist.github.com/unsurethinker/f3fb589e6c6fa26095fac56171acdb66

The text below the "Summary" section is my personal understanding. It's probably biased. Please remain sceptical when reading it.

PS: According to those links Andrew started to take over AFTER the Freenode Staff decided to leave. If you have ANY links saying that Andrew was taking over Freenode before April 23 (when libera.chat was registered) please post them in the comments, I'll add them to the list.

@sagudev

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@sagudev sagudev commented Jun 4, 2021

Just my 2 cents:
Something very similar to channel hijacking yet different was made by libera supporter before all hijacking stuff in #kranj
slika
there are also messages in public logs for other channels: https://freenode.logbot.info/illumos/20210529
And from all $hit I read nobody is innocent. The gave IRC a bad name!

Refer also to: https://gist.github.com/prawnsalad/4ca20da6c2295ddb06c1646791c61953

@wodencafe

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@wodencafe wodencafe commented Jun 4, 2021

Just my 2 cents:
Something very similar to channel hijacking yet different was made by libera supporter before all hijacking stuff in #kranj
slika
there are also messages in public logs for other channels: https://freenode.logbot.info/illumos/20210529
And from all $hit I read nobody is innocent. The gave IRC a bad name!

Refer also to: https://gist.github.com/prawnsalad/4ca20da6c2295ddb06c1646791c61953

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

Looks like a Joe Job / Smear Job.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
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=Yxea
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

@jhenstridge

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@jhenstridge jhenstridge commented Jun 4, 2021

@sagudev: while that kind of spamming is annoying, it's not really equivalent to having your channels hijacked by the irc ops. It also seems highly unlikely that the spamming is actually connected to the Libera staff. It could just as easily come from someone not connected to either network who wants to take advantage of Freenode's troubles and damage the reputation of Libera.

@bigpresh

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@bigpresh bigpresh commented Jun 4, 2021

It also seems highly unlikely that the spamming is actually connected to the Libera staff. It could just as easily come from someone not connected to either network who wants to take advantage of Freenode's troubles and damage the reputation of Libera.

^ This. Typically known as a Joe Job.

It's very much not the doing of (nor approved of by) the Libera staff team. We abhor spam as much as anyone else on IRC.

@apocalyptech

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@apocalyptech apocalyptech commented Jun 4, 2021

That spam has always confused the hell out of me, actually. It only really makes sense if the real purpose is to just troll/harass people in general. Which, I mean, is always a very real possibility given the internet. If it was a legit attempt to try and drive people to Libera, they'd omit all the racist stuff that generally accompanies it. If it was an attempt to smear Libera with the racist associations, all they're accomplishing is making life miserable for folks on the other networks (which effectively makes Libera a more attractive alternative). I assume their intent is probably the latter, given the inclusion of the racism (though I've seen some examples which excludes the racism), but it seems counterproductive no matter what the intent. Unless, again, their real intent is just disruption and lulz.

@wodencafe

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@wodencafe wodencafe commented Jun 4, 2021

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA512

We got the same kind of spam on Libera, pointing to Freenode.

[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:27 AM CDT] Join	Strykar (~Strykar@185.159.101.214) has joined this channel.
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:30 AM CDT] <Strykar>	THIS CHANNEL HAS MOVED TO IRC.FREENODE.NET
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:38 AM CDT] Join	michagogo_ (~michagogo@87.229.219.42) has joined this channel.
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:38 AM CDT] Join	kickingvegas (~kickingve@f81-229-33-172.sore.bredband.telia.com) has joined this channel.
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:42 AM CDT] Join	ironhand1 (~ironhand1@60.244.136.86) has joined this channel.
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:47 AM CDT] <michagogo_>	THIS CHANNEL HAS MOVED TO IRC.FREENODE.NET
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:47 AM CDT] <kickingvegas>	THIS CHANNEL HAS MOVED TO IRC.FREENODE.NET
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:49 AM CDT] Join	DCTWD (~DCTWD@cm-27-145-136-239.revip12.asianet.co.th) has joined this channel.
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:50 AM CDT] <ironhand1>	THIS CHANNEL HAS MOVED TO IRC.FREENODE.NET
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:55 AM CDT] Join	deego (~deego@pppoe98-106-static.112-217.dtssi.net) has joined this channel.
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:23:55 AM CDT] <DCTWD>	THIS CHANNEL HAS MOVED TO IRC.FREENODE.NET
[Wednesday, May 19, 2021] [10:24:03 AM CDT] <deego>	THIS CHANNEL HAS MOVED TO IRC.FREENODE.NET
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
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=48EG
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

@shentino

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shentino shentino commented Jun 4, 2021

It also seems highly unlikely that the spamming is actually connected to the Libera staff. It could just as easily come from someone not connected to either network who wants to take advantage of Freenode's troubles and damage the reputation of Libera.

^ This. Typically known as a Joe Job.

It's very much not the doing of (nor approved of by) the Libera staff team. We abhor spam as much as anyone else on IRC.

Very interesting that the spam in question has even hit #hamradio of libera itself.

If it is libera, they shot themselves in the foot in the most imaginably stupid manner possible.

It seems far more likely that this is a joe job specifically calculated to annoy the IRC community at large and in the process sabotage libera's reputation by getting them stuck with the blame.

Which raises interesting questions in my opinion about who has motive.

@shentino

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shentino shentino commented Jun 4, 2021

That spam has always confused the hell out of me, actually. It only really makes sense if the real purpose is to just troll/harass people in general. Which, I mean, is always a very real possibility given the internet. If it was a legit attempt to try and drive people to Libera, they'd omit all the racist stuff that generally accompanies it. If it was an attempt to smear Libera with the racist associations, all they're accomplishing is making life miserable for folks on the other networks (which effectively makes Libera a more attractive alternative). I assume their intent is probably the latter, given the inclusion of the racism (though I've seen some examples which excludes the racism), but it seems counterproductive no matter what the intent. Unless, again, their real intent is just disruption and lulz.

I call it social sabotage.

@shentino

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shentino shentino commented Jun 4, 2021

Oh yeah, this whole concept about sabotage brings an important point.

To whoever is behind it:

STOP IT, AND I MEAN NOW.

You are potentially risking legal consequences. Depending on how the particulars of the law apply, this is very likely a case of either slander, libel, or both, by deliberately attempting to do something bad and get libera blamed for it.

There may also be claims based on impersonation, or identity theft, or any other thing. I don't know what the exact laws are, but I have a few good hunches.

Cease and desist, IMMEDIATELY.

IANAL, but someone who is may well decide to fight back in court on libera's behalf.

@apocalyptech

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@apocalyptech apocalyptech commented Jun 4, 2021

I call it social sabotage.

Sure, but if so, it's extraordinarily inept. I find it difficult to believe that any sizeable body of people would draw the conclusion that those messages are coming from anyone even tangentially involved with the Libera staff. And those that do would likely already be in an anti-Libera camp of some sort. Anyway, one could go mad trying to understand the motivations of trolls, so I'll not be giving it further thought, myself. :P

@shentino

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@shentino shentino commented Jun 4, 2021

I call it social sabotage.

Sure, but if so, it's extraordinarily inept. I find it difficult to believe that any sizeable body of people would draw the conclusion that those messages are coming from anyone even tangentially involved with the Libera staff. And those that do would likely already be in an anti-Libera camp of some sort. Anyway, one could go mad trying to understand the motivations of trolls, so I'll not be giving it further thought, myself. :P

That identical message across multiple networks speaks strongly to a shared source, which gives me a good reason to suspect that someone "hired" them. These may be random trolls, but their message is not.

@RealTheHexagon

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@RealTheHexagon RealTheHexagon commented Jun 15, 2021

How did I only find out now.

@sjlongland

This comment has been minimized.

Copy link

@sjlongland sjlongland commented Jun 18, 2021

I have a new name for this IRC network: FleeNode -- the place where everybody runs away.

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment