The continually evolving fight for freedom

Posted on Nov 20, 2019 by Christel Dahlskjaer
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On the back of our announcement yesterday and the various media coverage relating to the upcoming merger acquisition with Kape Technologies, I wanted to take a moment to address the concern some of you have about our intent going forward, and whether this move means that we are no longer focused on privacy.

At Private Internet Access, we have always been very clear that our business allows us to carry out what we consider financially sustainable activism. We’re not afraid to stand up, we’re not afraid to speak out and we are quick to ensure that we provide support to those whose voices are often not heard, those whose causes are often overlooked.

Our business was founded with some very clear guiding principles that have helped us grow from a two-person team to a medium-sized business with a substantial customer base and a healthy turnover, and at no point have we let our integrity and belief that there can be a better tomorrow falter.

From day one, we have been clear that your privacy is our policy and that the Private Internet Access VPN and our other privacy products exist to bring power to the people.

Any company has a number of stakeholders; from ownership and management through employees and business partners and, in most cases, the customer base. At PIA we also consider those who are not our customers to fall within our stakeholder group. The people. The people are our stakeholders, and it is to you all, collectively, that we must remain accountable.

The decision to join forces with Kape Technologies was not one that was taken lightly, and it was a decision that came on the back of extensive dialogue and due diligence by both the parties in the transaction, and I’d like to touch on some of that.

Private Internet Access always has, and always will, put privacy first. Privacy is a fundamental human right as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and one that our entire business has been built around. Our commitment to the privacy of our users, and the global population at large, is one thing we would never compromise on. Privacy is bigger than you and I, privacy is bigger than PIA and Kape. Privacy is an absolute necessity to protect and safeguard life for a substantial proportion of the world population.

At Private Internet Access, we want to continue fighting for privacy, against censorship and oppression and for human rights in general. We want to see the next three billion people connected to the internet. We want to see world economies improve in line with people receiving unfettered access to information. We want to contribute to ensuring that people can engage, become empowered and educate those in their communities for a better global society for all. We believe in the power of people and we have hope, hope for the future. A global future in which we all have the same access, the same rights and the same opportunities.

And, in partnering with Kape Technologies, we believe that we will be better equipped to continue fighting for the digital liberties of today and tomorrow. Through lengthy conversation and mutual commitment, Kape Technologies and Private Internet Access have agreed to codify some guiding principles going forward.

These guiding principles can be found at http://investors.kape.com/about-us and I also include an excerpt here:

1. Zero Secrecy – openness as a guiding force – we believe that an organisation cannot ensure privacy for others without being open and transparent itself.

2. Zero Reliance – we remove the need for you to trust anyone with your personal data by ensuring no one has it, including ourselves.

3. Zero Data – sanctity of personal data – we believe each individual owns his own data therefore we will never store or attempt to sell what does not belong to us.

4. 100% Customer first – we believe that all decisions should be made with the end user in mind, while maintaining profit as well as building a sustainable balance between social, environmental and economic profit.

5. Zero Theater – what you see is what you get, we tell it as it is and deliver on what we promise to achieve.

6. Zero Tier – net neutrality – we believe that all connections and data should be treated equally and without manipulation.

7. 100% Honesty – we will say it as we see it, straightforward and direct.

8. Zero Sidelining – life purpose – this is not a passing phase, this is our mission and we are determined to stick to it and overcome any obstacles which comes our way.

Going forward, Private Internet Access and Kape Technologies will be bound by these eight guiding principles in absolutely everything that we do.

We are not selling out, we have not come to a crossroads and decided to take an entirely different direction. We are growing. We are becoming stronger, and together we will continue fighting for a just world for you and I, and for those who come after us.

What we will do is use this opportunity to further our work to develop and promote better privacy and security tools, and further our commitment to and involvement in human rights and digital liberties as we continue to empower each other and those around us.

Give us the time to prove to you that we remain as serious and committed to the cause now as we were before, and join us as we break down barriers and unite across borders.

About Christel Dahlskjaer

Christel is a privacy and digital rights advocate, a firm believer in software freedom and a bit of an all-round activist. She enjoys real ale, decent scotch and good conversation. She does not enjoy internet shutdowns and believes we must #KeepItOn.

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11 Comments

  1. Ian

    Sounds like regular corporate dribble prepared by the pr department. It’s about money. Just admit it.

    3 weeks ago
    Reply
  2. Ed Neri

    As you said in the last paragraph to give you time to prove your statements. I just extended and renewed my subscription for another year.

    3 weeks ago
    Reply
  3. JB

    My concern is knowing if the merge is going to change PIA legal obligations towards court orders or government issued surveillance requests.

    Kape is not based in the USA, does this mean that PIA will now have to comply with UK or Israeli Court orders now?

    3 weeks ago
    Reply
    1. billy

      same here dude im hoping to god they dont get forced to allow the stupid uk government to spy on us or force them to keep data logs because thatll be illegal for their busieness also im hoping to god they dont force ugly adware in the app cause if they do im never using them again.

      2 weeks ago
      Reply
    2. Caleb Chen

      The acquisition doesn’t change our jurisdiction, because we continue being a separate entity.
      What’s more, we’re still adhering to our strict no-logs policy. So, even in the case of subpoenas, we’ll have no data to pass on to the authorities.

      2 weeks ago
      Reply
  4. priorsubscriber

    I, unlike the opening commentator, have cancelled my subscription. Kape has a track record, and a leopard cannot change its spots.

    There are other providers who take a similar approach, are not affiliated with bulk chinese setups, israeli intelligence operations, or the UK where your data is not private.

    2 weeks ago
    Reply
    1. Mike Lewis

      I will give PIA an opportunity to prove your statements; however, the first sign of any wrongdoing privacy invasion, I am running away period!
      I will search for a list of providers with excellent records just so I will be prepared for when I hear or read an excuse or apology.

      2 weeks ago
      Reply
  5. Daishawn

    Andrew Lee’s post said,

    “we were dismayed to find that many would not sign a binding and actionable pact to refuse to log, but there was one: our new partner, Kape Technologies”

    My question is, what are the actual terms of this pact that gives PIA management the ability to enforce it if pressured by Kape to do otherwise? If we would get clarity on how this can actually be guaranteed, it would be helpful in understanding the situation.

    2 weeks ago
    Reply
  6. User for 5 years

    > we’re still adhering to our strict no-logs policy

    Can you make public blog about this? So we can archive it and sue your company if you found sharing my data?

    If you don’t do this I will cancel my subscription. Do it soon.

    1 week ago
    Reply
  7. PIAUser0007

    We’ll see how this goes I am a bit concerned about Kape “extending” that always happens with each aqquisition that I’ve been apart of and they have red in their past. It usually takes 1 year or a bit longer before changes start happening. I don’t have to renew right away so I’ll continue to test and monitor and watch out about reports as well.

    6 days ago
    Reply
  8. Dana

    What I want to know is how do you intend to prove this to us? Is there a way that your customers can hold you accountable if there is something fishy going on? I mean you can’t blame us for being skeptical of this. What level of transparency are you willing to give us? What evidence can you give the community, especially those with the expertise to understand the technical aspect of this, that will keep them in the know about what’s being shared and what isn’t?

    4 days ago
    Reply