ProtonMail Had To Forgo “No IP Log” Policy and Share Activistss IP Addresses With Authorities

ProtonMail Had To Forgo “No IP Log” Policy and Share Activistss IP Addresses With Authorities

ProtonMail, an encrypted email service provider, came under fire after it agreed to provide the IP address of an anti-gentrification activist group to law enforcement authorities, which led to the arrest of the individuals.

The company states that it keeps its users’ IP logs secure and protects their privacy. This means that it does not provide any details about users’ activities to third parties.

However, when the Swiss authorities recently approached the company to hand over information on a group named Youth for Climate, it had to go against its “No IP log” policy and comply with the order. Since the activities carried out by the group were considered a violation of Swiss law, ProtonMail decided not to appeal the order issued by the Federal Department of Justice.

“There was no possibility to appeal or fight this particular request because an act contrary to Swiss law did in fact take place (and this was also the final determination of the Federal Department of Justice which does a legal review of each case),” the company said on Reddit.

Following reports about the company’s involvement in a Swiss criminal investigation, ProtonMail clarified that it must cooperate with authorities. Its users should not be concerned about their privacy being violated.

According to ProtonMail founder and CEO Andy Yen, the company can collect information about users’ accounts if a court order for a specific account is obtained. This is, in essence, not done by default; however, ProtonMail’s privacy policy states that the company will be forced to keep users’ IP addresses if they violate Swiss laws.

The company has now revised its privacy policy and clearly states that the IP address of ProtonMail users may be kept on standby to prevent abuse and fraud. It may be permanently retained if users engage in activities that are illegal or fraudulent.

“If you are breaking Swiss law, ProtonMail can be legally compelled to log your IP address as part of a Swiss criminal investigation,” the company’s revised policy says.

Image: ProtonMail

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