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Ethical Hackers Donate Half A Million Euros to Open Internet

Security consultancy continues unique support to open source charity

Amsterdam, February 2nd 2021

The annual donations of the Netherlands-based security consultancy Radically Open Security to the Internet charity NLnet Foundation last year surpassed the record of 500.000 euros in total. Since 2017 the "Post Growth" company of ethical hackers donates 90% of its yearly net profit to the foundation that grants subsidies for open source technology, digital rights and Internet infrastructure.

The Internet is now so important to everyday life that we need and deserve technologies that guarantee our online independence, protect our privacy and secure our personal data. A tireless community of developers, activists and engineers since the early days of the net collaborated on open source software and open hardware to try and fix fundamental flaws in how the Internet was designed.

In support of this essential work and to show how business can have a lasting social impact, the not-for-profit computer security company Radically Open Security has donated its yearly net profit to NLnet since 2017. Last year the donations have surpassed the record total of 500.000 euros provided to the NLnet Foundation, an Internet charity that funds free and open source technology and open Internet research. These gifts are made possible by the legal status of Radically Open Security as 'Fiscaal Fondsenwervende Instelling' (or fiscal fundraising institution) which enables 90% of all profits to go tax-free to NLnet.

"Radically Open Security consistently sustains our mission to help fix the Internet", states Bob Goudriaan, general director of NLnet. "As an independent grantmaker, only donations can help NLnet fund projects and technologies that look beyond short-term gain and focus on long-term public benefit. For over two decades NLnet has been able to support unique and vital work on fundamental Internet infrastructure, application protocols and technologies that improve online privacy and security. Among these amazing projects are for example Namecoin, Searx, QubesOS, ARPA2 and many, many more. The continued help of Radically Open Security proves how these tools and solutions can be supported in a sustainable way."

Ever since its first contribution in 2017, Radically Open Security has continued to annually share its profits with NLnet. "We are extremely proud to have crossed the milestone of 500.000 euros supporting the amazing work of the NLnet Foundation", states Dr. Melanie Rieback, CEO and co-founder of Radically Open Security. "We hope that this will inspire more founders to support charity with their startups. And we hope to demonstrate to nonprofits and NGOs how they can harness business to fund their social mission."

About NLnet Foundation

Logo NLnet: letterlogo with abstract shape of four circles joining

NLnet Foundation is an independent organisation whose means come from donations and legacies. The history of NLnet goes back to 1982 when a group of Europeans led by former NLnet director and member of the Internet Hall of Fame Teus Hagen announced the European Unix Network (EUnet) which became the first public wide area network in Europe and the place where Internet was introduced to Europe. NLnet also pioneered the worlds first dial-in and ISDN infrastructure with full country coverage. In 1997 all commercial activities were sold to UUnet (now Verizon) and since that time NLnet has focused on supporting the open Internet and the privacy and security of Internet users.

Its private capital ensures an absolute independent position. The articles of association for the NLnet Foundation state:"to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose". NLnet's core business is to support independent organizations and people that contribute to an open information society and to a safe, secure and open Internet.

A number of times a year NLnet organises a worldwide open call for projects to be supported. The long list of NLnet-funded projects includes NLnet Labs, Tor project, Unhosted, Qubes, NOMA, Wireguard, Koruza, Serval, Jitsi, ARPA2, NoScript, CeroWRT and GNUnet. NLnet currently spearheads NGI Zero, a unique consortium that includes Radically Open Security and funds privacy and trust enhancing technologies and improves search and discovery as part of the Next Generation Internet initiative of the European Commission.

For further information contact: incoming [at]

About Radically Open Security

Logo Radically Open Security: letterlogo with silhouette of jumping person next to it

Radically Open Security (ROS) is the world's first not-for-profit computer security consultancy company. ROS is an award-winning social enterprise with 40+ staff members and 100+ customers, serving the following sectors: government/police, financial, insurance, Internet/hosting, energy/water, retail, media, software development, universities, SMEs, startups, and NGOs/nonprofits/civil society (for whom we work on a nonprofit basis). ROS' core values have birthed the "Peek Over Our Shoulder" style of penetration testing, bringing unprecedented transparency to a traditionally "black box" service offering.

ROS is also a highly successful prototype of a Nonprofit Business. We are providing an example of non-extractive "post growth entrepreneurship" with ethics by design — prohibiting dividends, investors, and exits, and re-envisioning business as a vehicle for pure positive impact. In 2018, we started Nonprofit Ventures, the world's first post-growth startup incubator, where we are working with (aspiring) social entrepreneurs to bootstrap their own post-growth startups. We also co-developed a "Post-Growth Entrepreneurship" course (piloted, June 2019) in the School of Business and Economics of the Vrije Universiteit (Free University of Amsterdam).

The Chamber of Commerce ranked Radically Open Security as the 50th most innovative SME in the Netherlands. CIO Magazine called ROS's CEO, Dr. Melanie Rieback, the "Most Innovative IT Leader" of the Netherlands (TIM Award 2017). The European Council also named Dr. Rieback one of the 9 Most Innovative Women in the European Union (EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019).

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