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.