In the Bushido code of warrior honour, death is always preferable to dishonour. Seppuku was the ritualised self-evisceration that a disgraced samurai would undertake in order to clear his name of stain. The ideal seppuku involved several self-administered slashes with the short-bladed sword, opening the abdomen so the internal organs were disgorged onto the floor in front of the still-living warrior.

We're not that hardcore. Seriously.

However, in 2008 our team pioneered an approach to privacy protection which has since become known as the Privacy Seppuku Pledge (or, previously, "corporate seppuku"): rather than allow our service to be turned into indiscriminate, dragnet #snitchware, we publicly asserted our choice to shut the company down - wipe the network, delete the customer datafiles entirely - if efforts to coerce our complaisance continued despite all attempts to stop them otherwise.

It's not as crazy as it sounds - in fact, it helps to avoid the situation in the first place.

Our commitment to our customers means we'll step away from a project rather than see it used to betray our loyalty. Indeed, we've done it once already. The full backstory on the "Pledge," & our involvement in spreading this new form of digital civil disobedience, can be found here.

In the meantime, know this: we mean it.