Email service provider Protonmail has faced criticism after it gave up a French climate activists’ IP address to Swiss police.
The activists were occupying the Place Sainte Marthe in Paris and were publishing news articles about police investigations on their activity using a ProtonMail address.
Europol made a request to ProtonMail in order to identify the person using the ProtonMail account for communication and eventually made an arrest.
Proton’s CEO Andy Yen said that they were only complying with local laws which mandated them to log IP addresses from users in “extreme criminal cases,”
Yen however that they still tried to defend the rights of users against said investigations and rulings if they think it is unlawful.
“The Swiss government determined that this case met the legal standard under Swiss law. Unfortunately, there was no possibility to appeal that ruling in this case. However, we always fight when we can (and in 2020, we fought over 700 cases on behalf of users).” said Yen.
Yen reassured the public that despite legal orders, ProtonMail cannot access or view contents of a ProtonMail account, and cannot identify its users.
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