Last weekend, a scandal erupted around the secure email service ProtonMail – the service’s management announced that it was recently forced to disclose the IP address of one of its customers, as ProtonMail received an order from the Swiss authorities that could not be appealed or rejected.
Then activists used the inbox on ProtonMail to organize protests (jmm [***] @ protonmail.com), and this attracted both the attention of real estate companies and the French police.
Last week, Paris Luttes (Paris Struggles) reported that the French police and Europol contacted the Swiss government and asked for help, seeking details about the identity of the mailbox owner.
However, Andy Yen said that a separate nondisclosure order did not allow the company to notify the user in time about what was happening. That is, the service was forced to save the IP address that the French activist used to log into his mailbox on ProtonMail and hand it over to the authorities.
In doing so, Ian tried to defend the Swiss legal system as a whole:
However, ProtonMail users, of course, did not like what happened. Many remembered that the ProtonMail service has been used by ransomware operators, blackmailers and other criminals for many years, but the company’s management eventually helped the investigation, which targeted the activist, and not the capture of another extortionist group.
ProtonMail has also been heavily criticized for its marketing, as the company has been promising users “anonymous email” for years, although the latest transparency report shows the number of claims the company receives from authorities is growing exponentially, from 13 requests in 2017 to 3,572 last year (195 of them were foreign).
Let me remind you that we also wrote that ProtonMail developers say Apple is holding us all as hostages.
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