Private Internet Access VPN opens code-y sarong, starting with Chrome extension

VPN tunneller Private Internet Access (PIA) has begun open sourcing its software.

Over the next six months, the service promises that all its client-side software will make its way into the hands of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community, starting with PIA’s Chrome extension.

The extension turns off mics, cameras, Adobe’s delightful Flash plug-in, and prevents IP discovery. It also blocks ads and tracking.

Christel Dahlskjaer, director of outreach at PIA, warned that “our code may not be perfect, and we hope that the wider FOSS community will get involved.”

Which sounds like a coded instruction to don some hefty rubber pants before wading into the source.

The code for the Chrome extension has hit GitHub for JavaScript botherers to tinker with.

PIA reckons that moving its wares (at least the stuff that lives on the client end of the equation) is the right thing to do, with code transparency key to a privacy-focused business.

PIA’s software has not been without issue. In 2015, it suffered an IP leak vulnerability, and perhaps the many-eyes approach of opening up the code will result in more robust software.

There is no schedule for when the rest of the client-side software will be made available, although PIA is a user of the OpenVPN application and conducted an audit of that code last year.

The Register has taken a look at the code released thus far and failed to find any naughty words or risqué comments. Any exciting discoveries can be shared in the comments below. ®

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