Andrew Lee (entrepreneur)

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Andrew Lee (born December 1983)[1] is a Korean-American entrepreneur. He is the founder of the VPN service Private Internet Access, which started in 2010.[2]

Career[edit]

In 2009, Lee founded London Trust Media (LTM), a private holdings company. In 2010, he founded Private Internet Access (PIA), a virtual private network service for anonymizing Internet traffic.[3] He started PIA because of his interest in Internet Relay Chat (IRC), whose users' IP addresses could be easily revealed.[4] Lee and co-owner Steve DeProspero sold LTM (and its subsidiary PIA) to Israeli company Kape Technologies for US$95.5 million in November 2019.[5][6] Lee co-founded Mt. Gox Live, a bitcoin price tracker that was later acquired by the now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.[7]

In 2017, Christel Dahlskjaer, then the head of staff at Freenode, incorporated and transferred ownership of Freenode Limited to Lee;[8] Dahlskjaer and Lee said the company was solely for funding the network and running the Freenode #live conferences.[9][10] According to staff, they were not informed of the contents of the deal and were told that it would not affect Freenode's day-to-day operations, as the company only managed the conference and nothing else.[10][11] A dispute over changes Lee imposed in 2021 resulted in all of freenode's twenty to thirty staff members resigning.[9][10] This team went on to form a new network called Libera Chat.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Andrew Lee was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, and raised in Carmel, Indiana, a city in the Indianapolis metro.[12][13] He enrolled in Purdue University and transferred to the University at Buffalo, but later dropped out to start work.[13]

In October 2018, Yi Seok, a member of the House of Yi and one of the pretenders to the defunct imperial throne of Korea, declared Lee the crown prince of Korea at a ceremony in Los Angeles, attended by Bermuda premier David Burt, and city officials from Los Angeles and Jeonju.[13][14]

In 2020, Lee and his family moved to a mansion in Hidden Valley, Thousand Oaks, California.[12][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Appointment of Director". Companies House. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  2. ^ Smith, Nicola (29 December 2018). "Californian techie becomes Korean crown prince in fairytale twist". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on 18 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  3. ^ Eha, Brian Patrick (6 April 2017). "The Gray Hat". How Money Got Free: Bitcoin and the Fight for the Future of Finance. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781780746593.
  4. ^ Searls, Doc (30 May 2018). "The Fight for Control: Andrew Lee on Open-Sourcing PIA". Linux Journal. Linux Journal, LLC. Archived from the original on 18 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Proposed acquisition of Private Internet Access". Financial Times. Nikkei, Inc. Regulatory News Service. 19 November 2019. Archived from the original on 10 January 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Teddy Sagi's Kape buying US digital privacy co LTMI". Globes. 19 November 2019. Archived from the original on 28 May 2021. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Interview with Andrew Lee of Private Internet Access". GNOME Foundation. 23 September 2013. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  8. ^ "PIA and freenode joining forces - freenode". freenode.net. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Franceschi-Bicchierai, Lorenzo (19 May 2021). "Developers Flee Open Source Project After 'Takeover' By Korean Crown Prince". Vice. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Nardi, Tom (19 May 2021). "Freenode debacle prompts staff exodus, new network". Hackaday. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Freenode IRC staff resign en masse, unhappy about new management". The Register. 19 May 2021. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  12. ^ a b Warren, Katie (14 December 2020). "A South Korean royal couple just dropped $12.6 million on a sprawling outhern California estate. Take a look at the lavish 20-acre property". Business Insider. Axel Springer SE. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  13. ^ a b c Tai, Crystal (2 December 2018). "This is no K-drama: the fresh prince of South Korea is real royalty, and he's American". South China Morning Post. Alibaba Group. Archived from the original on 26 March 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  14. ^ Chung, Monica Younsoo (27 October 2018). "Andrew Lee, the Prince of Korea plans launching Imperial Fund to invest for Korean small businesses". Korea IT Times. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  15. ^ Flemming, Jack (1 December 2020). "South Korean royals shell out $12.6 million for a Thousand Oaks palace". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times Communications. Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.