Friday, 06 February 2015 13:31

Facebook, Stripe pledge funds for GnuPG development Featured

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Two companies, Stripe and Facebook, have pledged an annual donation of $US100,000 to aid in the development of GNU Privacy Guard, the encryption software that has been created by a single German developer.

Stripe, which provides a way for individuals and businesses to accept payments over the internet, made the announcement on Twitter on behalf of itself and Facebook.

The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative made a one-time donation of $US60,000. Other donations by individuals have also come in.

The donations came shortly after the American website ProPublica carried a story on Werner Koch, the German developer who is the lone man behind GnuPG, pointing out that he had been running on something like $US25,000 annually since 2001.

Koch was inspired to write GnuPG after hearing a talk by the GNU Project founder Richard M. Stallman in 1997. Stallman started the project in 1984 in order to develop a free operating system; most of the bits and pieces were ready when the Linux kernel was released on the internet and the two were combined into what came to be known as GNU/Linux distributions.

Since he began writing GnuPG, Koch has been on his own for the most part and was about to give it up and take a day job when Edward Snowden's disclosures about blanket surveillance by the NSA were published. He then realised that he had to keep going.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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