More than 20 years ago, MSAB pioneered the use of mobile forensics technology to help law enforcement prevent and solve crime. We developed our technology in the midst of the “dot-com” boom that was overtaking the world and, in fact, using it to solve crime wasn’t our original intent. But the local police force in Sweden had started experimenting with our technology to do just that. They contacted us and asked if we could work together. We soon learned that, working as trusted partners, we could create innovative solutions that would help make the world a safer place.
Today our technology is used by law enforcement and government agencies around the world. Our people all over the world come to work every day proud that our technology is making a meaningful difference in society. We are helping to solve (and often prevent) crime and we help strengthen the rule of law in an increasingly complex and digital world. Most important, our people know we are driven by an unwavering commitment to do the right thing, ethically and responsibly – and without compromise. And that commitment starts with me and our executive team.
We pioneered the mobile forensics category and we fully intend to lead it forward in the years ahead. But leadership, real leadership, is about doing the right thing. For MSAB that means that the needs of a just society – a society committed to human rights, freedom of expression and democracy – must take precedence over the needs of business and profit. We won’t compromise on that. Ever.
Like any technology our platforms can fall into the wrong hands or attempts are made to use our technology in ways that are at odds with our values. When that happens, we take action. It was with these very same company principles in mind that MSAB chose to withdraw our services to regimes that have turned their backs on democracy. Most importantly, our systems are designed so that their use can be limited and shut down if we determine that it is being used in ways that go against our values.
We support and encourage every democracy, young or old. We work to prevent mass surveillance wherever it is introduced. We know that business leaders have a special obligation to help counteract oppression and violence in all its forms, and we take our role in that very seriously.
Recently, media reports have suggested that our technology is being used by the military in Myanmar to crack down on peaceful protesters. Here are the facts: We have never sold our technology to the military in Myanmar. They may wish to buy it, but it’s not for sale to oppressive regimes. We sold four limited, single user systems, to the police when Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was leading the country. These systems could not recreate deleted data and could not get into hard locked phones. Even those, very restricted systems, were stopped when the military coup began. If our platforms somehow fall into the wrong hands we will work as hard as we can to shut down the software so that the technology becomes useless.
This commitment is in our DNA. We are driven by a belief system and sense of values that governs our business every day. It’s who we are. Maybe it’s because our global roots are based in Sweden. But I think it’s simply the right thing to do. It’s good business too, because we know that doing well (financially) and doing good are inextricably linked. It makes us a trusted partner, and at the end of the day that makes us all safer.