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  1. Transcript of the most important part of the interview:
    Interviewer: So how much of a hardliner are you in that aspect?

    Weaver: I'm a hardliner. Now if we are talking about the ultimate hardliner of Richard Stallman, there are areas where I think that I would be willing to lose a battle to sort of win the overall war.

    Interviewer: Sure.

    Weaver: Besides those minor areas, the fact is that Richard Stallman has had 35 years of being right.

    Interviewer: Right, absolutely.

    Weaver: You have to respect him for that. So I use and promote products that are ethical, because it actually creates an ethical society. So I take a hardline approach to that. As a matter of fact I was just asked about my Twitter handle. I don’t have one of those, and I don’t want one of those.

    However, our company does and the reason is because we have to bridge the gap from the utopia that I live in and the dystopia that society lives in, and we have to bring people over. So we have to build those bridges, and building those bridges means having a Twitter account that can tell people about it, and having a Facebook account that can tell people about why they need to not use it any longer, but I personally do not have them, nor will I ever, so I’m that hardline approach. I host my own email servers. I build everything from scratch.

    What I realized is that for me personally I'm willing to inconvenience myself to retain control. And then having two daughters, I realized that I need to change society for the better. In the future, it’s going to be convenience that ends up removing the digital civil rights that we have, and we have already seen this.

    So that is where we decided that we can solve that problem by actually making things that are convenient and retain you as an individual’s control. So we decouple the issue of having convenience that controls you, which is what all big tech does. Big tech is all about maximizing profits–it’s the systemic issue that they have.

    That is one of the reasons why we solved the systemic issue by forming as a social purpose corporation. What that really means is that we advance our social purpose over maximizing profit. Then, that means that everyone involved–our board of directors, our shareholders, me, executives, all staff–understand that every decision that we are making has to advance social purpose and social good. Having that be a systemic understanding within the organization makes it where amazing things are happening.

    The other really important piece is that we only charge for things that people understand that they have to pay for–hardware is obviously one of them. So by charging for what people are willing to pay for, we can use that leverage and influence change where change has never been before.

    Then, as we grow, and we are growing very rapidly, then we can influence change in all sorts of other ways as well, such as we are coming out with our phone next year. Next year in 2019, we are also going to be announcing a product called “Liberty,” which is actually going to be services, and those services are going to adhere to very strict guidelines of ethics, so that is like chat–so you can think of it like what we compete with: Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Whatapp, Messenger, and all that garbage. What we are going to have it decentralized and use end-to-end decryption where the user controls the keys as opposed to the corporation.

    So there are a lot of things that are in the works, but being able to grow and advance those causes is an extremely exciting thing for our entire team.

    Interviewer: Well, it sounds fantastic to have a philosophical core at the center of your company and to have a reason for doing things other than just profit. I know that Google famously had the “don’t be evil” slogan, which I always took as do everything right up to the point of evil, which gives you a lot of ground to work with, like when they launched Gmail and they said, “well it’s not evil to read your email, and to put ads in there,” and some people said that’s incredibly evil, but they were like no, it’s really close to evil, but not quite there.

    Weaver: You know that they actually removed that slogan.

    Interviewer: Oh yeah, it’s like “be good” now. I don’t really believe them now, when they say it.

    Weaver: … At the heart of it is actually, and I just gave a talk on this subject, is that for C-corps within the US, they have to legally maximize shareholder value, at all costs which are legal. Now currently we have no digital civil rights, so they can tromp all over the top of them, and its legal to do so. This is were we need to advance both the advocacy, but also the regulatory, in saying that we should advance the things that we would like to see as society in the digital world, and then we can also solve it by switching to use products that are ethical.

    It actually isn’t an issue of do you have anything to hide. That’s never really been the issue. It’s always been for me a digital civil rights issue, which is to say that these huge C-corps by their definition because there is no regulation otherwise can exploit society for their gain. What we need is to say, hey, you know what, there are choices and let’s actually vote for those choices, but let’s actually try to write the rules that we would like to see in the digital world. Then, what will happen is that if those regulations can be indoctrinated, then we can see the change and move in that direction. It’s taking it to the heart of a digital civil rights issue, as opposed to you want to hide your picture. That’s a much bigger issue, and what is being spread around.

    Interviewer: Certainly when the original corporations were founded by the Dutch, they were chartered to serve the state, to open up trade routes to India, to bring back spices for the good of the people. We have completely lost these ideas, as you say. It’s entirely about the profit motive. It’s entirely about getting more and turning eyeballs into money the way that Facebook did, building the social network, adding in the ads, making it friendly for the advertisers to get all your information. Now we are at this point where people don’t even understand the values of privacy, or understand what they have given up…

    Weaver: You are touching on a lot, and I appreciate the fact that you have a history and understanding of the corporate structure. One of the important things to note is that corporations in the physical world have centuries of precedent, that they have been following. They are not going to murder somebody, that we know of.

    What will happen in the digital world is there [are] no rights. They can completely exploit and enslave individuals and their data for their gain. This is why it is important to bring awareness to policy makers, to people, in saying that this is actually a civil rights issue. It’s not a just something minor that you shouldn’t care about. It’s a giant problem.

    How do we end up addressing that? We have to solve the systemic issues, and Purism is looking to solve it by putting out product that is convenient, that allows you to control your own life, and then also an activist, so we can talk about these issues, like I’m doing here, and then also regulatory. [We are] bringing the awareness that these are important issues for society.

    I think that what is really great is that the erosion of trust of big tech is already well on the way to collapse. The good news is that the awareness is there. People can’t whole-heartedly trust a big tech company. I don’t know of anyone who does. There are people who still use those services, because they’re convenient, but the actual erosion of trust is pretty well under way.

    What we need to have are convenient products that follow that and say, “hey, just switch to this.” So we can have a giant switch campaign, as opposed to a delete Facebook campaign, which doesn’t really solve the problem. We need to switch to something that is actually ethical.

  2. Watching this interview convinced me to pre-order Purism's Librem 5 phone. I love the fact that Purism is planning to eventually release their hardware files in 3-5 years. I will definitely use their Liberty digital services. I have been dying to get off Yahoo mail for years.

  3. This dinosaur (me) might buy his first cell phone when Purism brings the Librem 5 on the market.
    I have a new-to-me Tesla that's connected to AT&T LTE. The day the Librem 5 can use the car's WiFi is the day I buy…

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