Supposedly “Secure” ProtonMail gives up IP addresses of climate activist to Swiss authorities

Can’t trust anyone.

The privacy-oriented email provider ProtonMail has come under fire for providing Swiss authorities the IP address of a French climate activist.

The service, which prides itself on offering end-to-end security and impossible-to-crack encryption, says it was acting on a request by French authorities through Europol, who asked the Swiss government for their assistance. As ProtonMail is based in Switzerland, it has been able to ignore international demands to give up the private information of its users but is required to obey Swiss laws.

Under Swiss law, the tech company is required to log IP addresses from users in “extreme criminal cases,” according to ProtonMail’s own transparency report.

In a post on Tuesday, Proton CEO Andy Yen said that the company has tried to make it clear that it has to comply with Swiss law.

“In this case, Proton received a legally binding order from Swiss authorities which we are obligated to comply with,” he wrote. “There was no possibility to appeal this particular request.”

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