AirVPN started as a project of a very small group of activists, hacktivists, hackers in 2010, with the invaluable (and totally free) help of two fantastic lawyers and a financing from a company interested in the project and operated by the very same people.
The Pirate festival held in Rome and a lucky coincidence were decisive for the project. An extraordinary confluence of energies, ideas and persons took place there. Including people from NEXA, Telecomix, Juliagruppen, the swedish Pirate Party, the italian Pirate Party association, the grassroots organization Scambioetico, activists from Mexico and the USA, lawyers with high competences in privacy, data protection and so-called “Intellectual property” fields, it was the perfect place and time to envision the project.
AirVPN started as a completely free service for anyone in april 2010. Soon it added a commercial side aimed to keep the project financially sustainable, capable to support the impact of free access to activists in human rights hostile countries and ensure to the team a monetary basis which could allow a full-time dedication.
Initially AirVPN had two dedicated servers in one country and was operated by Iridium, a company which was born in 1998 and that employed, in the telecommunication field, only persons involved in digital or non-digital civil activism. Iridium took care of AirVPN until November 2012, when all the handling was progressively transferred to a dedicated company (Air) with the very same persons and policies (no changes for the customers, for the privacy and for the data protection, even the privacy legal responsible person is the same one).
Today, AirVPN is operated exclusively by activists, privacy, data protection and security issues aware persons, law experts with the help of the same lawyers, and counts more than 80 servers with high bandwidth lines and good or top hardware in 15 datacenters across 16 countries in 3 continents. The solidity of the infrastructure is enhanced literally every week, so that most attacks (UDP and TCP flood, DDoS…) that caused service issues in the first AirVPN year of life now remain totally unnoticed to the users.