ProtonMail is one of many secure email services available on the internet today. The company sells itself as an end-to-end encrypted email service where your privacy is a top priority. ProtonMail also boasts that all its email servers are in Switzerland and protected by strict Swiss privacy laws.
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But maybe ProtonMail isn’t as secure and private as you thought. A new report surfacing today says that the company provided user data to Swiss authorities that led to the arrest of climate change activists in France. Apparently, the company was forced into giving the data over to the authorities.
If you’re interested in the case itself, you can follow the Twitter thread below. We’re more interested in the fact that it seems Swiss privacy laws aren’t as strict as some may think they are.
So @ProtonMail received a legal request from Europol through Swiss authorities to provide information about Youth for Climate action in Paris, they provided the IP address and information on the type of device used to the police https://t.co/KtKF4wn3wv— Etienne – Tek (@tenacioustek) September 5, 2021
Of course, ProtonMail was legally forced to hand over that data, but it didn’t get away without incurring the wrath of the Web. It was questioned why it possessed users’ IP addresses in the first place when it advertises that it doesn’t log IP addresses by default. ProtonMail founder and CEO Andy Yen explains that it only started logging the specific users’ IP addresses after it was legally forced to do so by Swiss authorities.
Netizens are still taking issue with ProtonMail’s marketing, hiding the legal intricacies of its logging activities away from its front page.Slashgear
Some thoughts on the French "climate activist" incident. It's deplorable that legal tools for serious crimes are being used in this way. But by law, @ProtonMail must comply with Swiss criminal investigations. This is obviously not done by default, but only if legally forced.— Andy Yen (@andyyen) September 5, 2021
What do you think of ProtonMail being forced to provide user data to Swiss authorities? What do you think of them logging IP addresses? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.