freenode now belongs to Andrew Lee, and I'm leaving for a new network.

A previous copy of this was a draft. This one isn't - its the real thing.
Some time ago, Christel, the former head of freenode staff sold `freenode ltd` (a holding company) to a third party, Andrew Lee[1], under terms that were not disclosed to the staff body. It turns out that this contract did indeed intend to sell the entire network and it's holdings, a fact hidden from the of staff. Mr Lee at the time had promised to never exercise any operational control over freenode.

In the past few weeks, we began to realise this had changed[2][3], and Mr Lee has sought to assert total legal control over the network, including user data. Despite our best efforts, the legal advice the freenode staff has obtained is that the contract signed by the previous head of staff cannot be fought with a reasonable likelyhood of success.

As a result, Mr Lee will shortly have operational control over the freenode IRC network. I cannot stand by such a (hostile[4]) takeover of the freenode network, and I am resigning along with most other freenode staff. We know that many of our users and communities also do not want this, as you have made clear directly to Mr Lee in #freenode and through letters[5].

Going forward!

We are founding a new network with the same goals and ambitions to support foss and likeminded communities: libera.chat.

You can connect to the new network at `irc.libera.chat`, ssl port 6697 (and the usual clearnet port).

We're really sorry it's had to come to this, and horrified that someone we knew and trusted violated that trust to sell your (and our) data and communities from under us. We hope that you're willing to work with us to make libera a success, independent from outside control, and under a legally registered Swedish non-profit with a formal governance structure.

Deleting your freenode account data:

Users who wish to remove their account data can do so with nickserv:
/msg nickserv drop <account name> <password> 
and follow the instructions given. For extra security, you can also overwrite your email address and password with new ones: You will need to verify that the new email is active and valid before it will take.

Footnotes

[1]: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/10308021/officers

[2]: A blogpost about improving our goverance structure was required to be removed: https://freenode.net/news/freenode-reorg (via the wayback machine)

[3]: The freenode testnet, for experimental deployment and testing of new server features was forced to be shutdown on Friday 30th April.

[4]: Logs from Andrew Lee and his staff soliciting an ex staff member to join in a dubious fashion. https://twitter.com/ariadneconill/status/1393006479700078595

[5]: An open letter signed by many community leaders: GitHub Gist

What other staff are saying

Some of these may take time to become active
amdj: GitHub Gist
edk: GitHub Gist
emilsp: GitHub Gist
Fuchs: https://fuchsnet.ch/freenode-resign-letter.txt / GitHub Gist
Jess: GitHub Gist
JonathanD: GitHub Gist
Md: https://blog.bofh.it/debian/id_461
mniip: https://mniip.com/freenode.txt
niko: https://coevoet.fr/freenode.html
njan: http://jeremiad.org/freenode.shtml
Swant: https://swantzter.se/freenode-resignation