We've always known that Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN are very serious when it comes to privacy and Internet freedom, even though they are based in the US. But their last move truly surprised us, in a good way. In the next 6 months, they are going to release the source codes of all their apps and extensions to the public. By going Open Source they hope to gather relevant feedback and of course become more trustworthy.
Yesterday on March 15, 2018, the company announced their plans to share all the source codes of their applications, extensions, and libraries with the public. As a platform to share the repositories they will be using the popular GitHub. It should be done within 6 months, and as a first product they are releasing the codes of the PIA VPN extension for Chrome (GitHub repository).
The main reason why they are doing this is to get involved with the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) community, so they can make their codes and essentially their products even better.
We believe that the shift to open source is the right move for a privacy-focused business, and recognize 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.
Christel Dahlskjaer @ PIA VPN Blog Post
However, there is another point of view which isn't mentioned in the blog post. By doing this they can also prove that they are doing nothing wrong with their users' data. What the vendor claims on the site is one thing, but the real truth is always inside the application codes.
List of Other Open Source VPNs
- OpenVPN (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)
- Tinc VPN (Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, macOS, Solaris)
- SocialVPN (Windows, CentOS, Ubuntu, OpenWRT Routers)
- SoftEther VPN (Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, Solaris)
- strongSwan (Linux, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Debian, Android)
- Tcpcrypt (Windows, macOS)
- Libreswan VPN (Linux)
- OpenConnect (Linux)
- Openswan (Linux)
Overall this is a great initiative and we really hope it will motivate other VPN vendors to do the same thing. Also, the response of the community is very welcoming and appreciative. A big thumbs up to the PIA VPN team!