Profile: Unigrid legal advisor Camilla Waldenberg
One of Unigrid's community managers, Haren Sohail, sits down with the legal counsel of Unigrid and talks to her about her background and interests.
Tell us about yourself and your contribution with Unigrid Foundation?
I am a Swedish lawyer, graduated from the University of Gothenburg in 2005. The last 1 ½ years I took courses in IP law (intellectual property law, such as patents, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets. My master thesis covered software licensing in Europe. After graduation, I worked in the Swedish courts for a few years before starting my work for clients, first as an associate lawyer before I became a lawyer and a member of the Swedish Bar Association. I have had my own law firm, in different forms, since 2007.
For many years I have combined my interest in IP law with two other the big areas, criminal law, and migration law. At the moment I work as a public defender, public lawyer in migration cases and with legal counseling when it comes to IP ad IT law and business/company law.
For Unigrid I do many different things, I have helped set up the company, helped to find the right tax advisors, and written contracts to make sure Unigrid complies with regulations such as anti-money laundering regulations, GDPR and so on. My role is not to be the one knowing the rules for every legal issue that might come along, but rather to help identify the (many) areas where different type of regulations come into force, find ways to make sure Unigrid comply and if it is too complicated for me as a part-time legal advisor for Unigrid, make sure they find the right help for the specific issue.
Why do you think Unigrid needs a lawyer?
First of all, most companies need a lawyer. Most do not need a lawyer in-house, full time, at first but just setting up a company, hiring employees, entering into contracts with partners, advisors, buyers etc. forces a company to consider many different legal aspects. When it comes to Unigrid, IP law, IT law, MicA (EU regulations for tokens), anti-money laundering regulations, GDPR etc. plays a big role. It is also of value for a company like Unigrid to have a lawyer that is close to the team when it comes to more overall strategies etc.
As companies grow, they often look for a lawyer to be on the board or the management team. That is because overall strategies and business decisions almost always have a legal aspect to them. Having a lawyer involved in that makes it easier to identify the issues that might come up later on if making that strategic decision today.
Are you managing any other IT project/s?
Not any that is like Unigrid, where I assist in so many different matters and am not that close to the team. With Unigrid I take part in the big picture and know more about each step (not on a tech level thought). I have some other IT companies that I help with legal issues but none where I am involved in the strategies for the business the same way as I am with Unigrid.
What are your views about the decentralization of the internet and why do you think its matters?
To be honest, I had not given the decentralization part much thought before starting to work with Unigrid. Like most other people I had just been irritated when services I use go down or when I get an error searching for a web page. However, with a background in IP law and laws regarding software, I know about the legal issues that have been discussed when it comes to source code, different licenses for source code, and the discussion about open or proprietary code. It is nothing like decentralization, but still, it is kind of an area where different views come into place.
After getting to read the Unigrid white paper, not only once, but perhaps three or four times, I realized the problem and how fundamental it really is. I do not think most people think about what type of internet and services on the internet we have today, even though we use it 24/7. We all understand that it is a problem when states cut off their citizens from the Internet or limit free speech by blocking applications. However, most people do not know what can be done, or most probably do not really care before it happens to them. By then it might be too late and that is why I think it is important to help build an Internet that can be open to everyone. We will face problems doing that too of course when wanting to stop criminals by tracking their digital footprints etc. but in the end, freedom of speech and freedom from being traced for every step you take is more important. With a decentralized internet, we also get other advantages of course, such as services not going down, many cyber-attacks being prevented, and so on.
Are you only a defender of tge Unigrid team, or are you a watchdog between the buyer and Unigrid?
My role as a lawyer, for any client, is to work for that client and that client’s legal interest only. However, I also need to make sure that the Unigrid team follows all the rules and regulations that are there to protect users, buyers, partners, etc. By doing that, you could say that I in a way also look at the big picture. Unigrid will not be anything without buyers and users.