Private Internet Access (PIA) made a big step forward by releasing their Software as open source today. The announcement page also mentioned that the Browse extensions also getting released on GitHub too. The client-side software will be rolled-out in waves over the next five months.
Code at GitHub
PIA supports Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac as well as Android & iOS. Those mentioned clients will getting the new released open source changes over the next months in waves. The Blog announcement posted the following message:
Today marks the start of an exciting shift over here at Private Internet Access. As long-time supporters of the Free and Open Source Software community, we have started the process of open sourcing our software, and over the next six months we will be releasing the source code for all our client-side applications, as well as libraries and extensions.
That’s the official statement. PIA plans to release all of its client programs, extensions and libraries as open source over the next fife months. That said, not everything is (yet) on GitHub.
The first Extension for Chrome was already released on GitHub with the announcement.
Why the change?
We believe that the shift to open source is the right move for a privacy-focused business, and recognise that code transparency is key. We appreciate that our code may not be perfect, and we hope that the wider FOSS community will get involved, provide feedback, feature requests, bug fixes and generally help provide a greater service to the wider privacy movement.
Overall spoken Private Internet Access hopes that the release will increase community involvement and that it also helps to find possible problems faster since everyone can contribute to the projects.
Until now the client-side software was closed source but people did complained about this move because it’s more difficult to audit the software or contribute to the project. This has now changed and might help to get more transparency into the VPN market since other VPN provider might follow these footsteps.
Good change PIA, you once again showed that you’re trustworthy and with this steps the doubts which often wrongly gets spread that the client-software is weak hopefully once and for all gets destroyed. Theoretically only the backend software is missing but I can understand that releasing this might increases their own attack surface.
I like what PIA did and I hope more VPN providers are following. Well done PIA.