What is everyone’s thoughts on this?
It’s great they are offereing alternative, people like it. On the other hand, many are dissapointed they didn’t credit FOSS projects their services rely on (Riot, K-9 mail, Mastodon, openVPN…), like e.g. Disroot did (does)
Yeah, also when you think about it, there are already tons of servers you can use with these apps that are free, and the “Librem TunnelTM” is just a glorified OpenVPN app connecting to a very sketchy VPN provider (private internet access). They just let you pay money for apps and services that users can already have for free, but without crediting the original work.
They do mention the services they are using under the “Technical Specifications” section.
- Librem Mail – Standard SMTP/IMAP/POP MTA, with OpenPGP
- Librem Tunnel – OpenVPN
- Librem Chat – Matrix, XMPP (coming soon)
- Librem Social – ActivityPub
I do agree, not happy about them using a sketchy VPN provider.
Funny that you should call Private Internet Access “sketchy,” as I know some people who are unconditionally loyal to it. I have yet to use a commercial VPN service.
Well its mostly that PIA is known for leading the charge with smear campaigns against other VPN providers, and advertise in their own service with it. When a company relies on those kind of marketing tactics, it doesn’t exactly spike my confidence in a companies ethical standards and trustworthiness. Also it is based in the USA which we at Privacytools.io don’t trust: https://www.privacytools.io/providers/vpn/
Sadly, the engineering department usually learns of the PR / Sales activities until “later” (i.e. too late) and seldom reacts afterwards (with rare but notable exceptions, many we never even become aware of until much later)