ProtonMail changes privacy policy after they release IP information to authorities

in LeoFinance10 months ago (edited)


ProtonMail is a very popular free email service based in Switzerland that promises to provide encryption and privacy to its users. This is the main selling point to use ProtonMail, even if you don't have anything to hide, privacy is important.

ProtonMail has always stated it does not log or store IP information on its users (by default).

Recently ProtonMail was asked to privide meta data and IP information on a French climate activist to the Europol. ProtonMail complied with this request and send the IP and device details to Europol.

ProtonMail has claimed "Under no circumstances however, can our encryption be bypassed, meaning emails, attachments, calendars, files, etc, cannot be compromised by legal orders." but they do specify they can see the following according to ProtonMail's privacy policy.

  • Sender and recipient email addresses
  • The IP address incoming messages originated from
  • Message subject
  • Message sent and received times

After this incident, ProtonMail removed the claim "we don't log your IP" from their website.

According to ProtonMail representative on Reddit, this was done to better clarify* ProtonMail's obligations.


You can read the full details in their clarification post. You can also check out their recently updated transparency report.

We will be making updates to our website to better clarify ProtonMail’s obligations in cases of criminal prosecution and we apologize if this was not clear. As a Swiss company, we must follow Swiss laws. We will also clarify that the use of our onion site (details below) is highly recommended for users with heightened privacy needs. Finally, we will also be updating our privacy policy to make clearer our legal obligations under Swiss law.
ProtonMail September 6th 2021 clarification post

Basically they claim they will fight for their users (and have over 700 times in 2020) whenever possible, but the only law they are responsible for is Swiss law.

If you want better protection while using ProtonMail, they suggest you use Tor when using ProtonMail. Brave browser has fantastic built-in support for Tor and will in fact handle all the work for you when a site has a known tor option. Keep in mind, if you ever used ProtonMail in the past without Tor on your desktop or mobile, there is a posibility your IP is already available to them.


If you haven't switched to Brave, I can't recommend it enough. I have written many posts on Brave you can find here:

Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.
- Edward Snowden

Securely chat with me on Keybase

Why you should vote me as witness

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta


I fear we are going to keep drifting towards a more big-brother type world. Most of these freedoms we've voluntarily given up out of irrational fears. I fear a lot of strange laws that have been passed during this pandemic regarding personal privacy and security will neve be walked back.

Well that's gonna hurt the ol' userbase haha.. It's not really cool that they did have the badge we don't log your ip when they in fact do though. Whether or not they "technically" stated that they did in their terms.

 10 months ago (edited)

"technically" they didn't unless you turned the feature on to create logs (it's in settings) or you potentially did something illegal and Swiss law (only Swiss) asked them to.

In the end, it's likely less than 1,000 users out of 50M, but it is concerning. There are solutions though, even with their own service (which even they recommend).

That being said, in this day and age where the government is bullying companies like Apple to give them backdoors to their encryption, there is zero expectation of privacy.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

A bit confused here. You go back and forth between Swedish and Swiss. I thought they were based in Switzerland; do they also have facilities in Sweden?

 10 months ago (edited)

You are right they are Switz, not sure why I said Swedish, will fix it.

Centralized entities will always have week points but it seems they can't help themselves when a bit of false advertising is option

I am reading 1984 for the first time, as recommended to me and this news is confirming the book

If you liked 1984, you will like The Iron Heel, too.
It predates Orwell by 35 years, and does a better job of illustrating what we are up against, imo.

I am only halfway through it, will put the iron heel on my list, thanks.

 10 months ago 

Darn, it’s getting more and more tedious to be a private person on a global network.

This is a bad development for protonmail users as they prefer protonmail over others because of the privacy features. Now if they start providing the privacy information to the law enforcement, many are going to walk away

 10 months ago (edited)

They promise there is no way for anyone (law or otherwise) to have access to the actual contents of your email, which is a big deal to be honest.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

That sucks, Any idea which of the privacy email providers is actually keeping their promise? I don't need it to be free, just curious if you have one in mind that stands out.

Ty for update, any other email thats a better option to them?

I feel they are still one of the best options outside of hosting your own mail.

We don't log your ip, but well, really we do, but only for the swedes?

Thought you might be interested in what is going on here, they share the broadband with nodes, and pay on a blockchain.

Just another case of a company promising what they can't fulfill. You've been really strong on Brave's privacy policy, well it's not like there are many options as things stand

Wow this is crazy! So much for protonmail.

It's not as crazy as it sounds, it's crazy to think they would have any power against the government, they still likely fight harder to protect their users than anyone else and even the government cannot see the contents of the emails no matter how much they try (apparently).

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

That is a fair point I suppose crazy is not the best word to use, but I only recently made a protonmail email so this is disappointing. Crazy as in unexpected but I am learning that I should not expect privacy anywhere.

Even when you talk to your friends face to face, audio is recorded and indexed by several parties.

They couldn't see an ip that wasn't logged either. What's stopping a government from demanding that they remove or fake the encryption on a specific account and let them monitor future messages?

Yes but i think they already got the attention from gov. That means it doesn't take that long to give them what they want or quit service.

Isshh 🤦🏼. I use ProtonVPN...I guess the same rules apply to them. The VPN service I have my eyes on is Sentinel vpn but last I checked it didn’t have support for IOS

Snowden was right. As for freedom of speech, there are places that Christmas tunes are banned in public areas in the US - without lyrics . I think freedom of speech has already been heavily compromised along with the right to privacy. If my info is out there fine, but I would at least like to know what is being collected and under what circumstances.

This is huge, and just another reason to not trust CHZ companies to be actual neutral by default. They have limited reasons to take a side, since their home country stayed mostly none-partisan, but if problems occur they seem to fault very fast.

Certainly friend, I have considered it as one of the best options when opening an email when we want to ensure our privacy, I did not know about having to use TOR, however it is recommended with the BRAVE browser, there is no comparison. ..

Not a good one from protonmail going back against what they stand for. Quite difficult to stay private this days has the authorities snooping everywhere

Wow, this very bad from the protonmail because if the security has been do I believe they can't get all their users black again

Looks like bye-bye proton mail.

But the most retarded is, it is against avg users again. There are 1000x other for people that want to hide.

Ok, so let me get this right.. They promise privacy whilst sending data to the authorities??? !LUV






@themarkymark, you've been given LUV from @networkallstar.

Check the LUV in your H-E wallet. LUV changes soon. (4/10)

In Finland they just deleted an email account, which was about parents being worried about the mass mRNA testing of kids. The World Economic Forum is based in Switzerland, might not be a coincidence?

I learned to LOVE Brave... It's the best thing goin' today... WOOOOOOO!!!

On a side note... SWIM was using protonmail to allegedly stalk chad kroeger and send questionable photos of SWIM's junk. SWIM's messages were somewhat threatening like sneaking into chads house and cutting off his golden locks while he sleeps. SWIM was using brave browser but was not using Tor. Should SWIM be concerned that his/her IP address was logged?

Well protonmail committed business suicide...

Hope decentralized alternative that enforces privacy arrives soon. It might be extra utility for various storage cryptos.

Doubt it, I suspect they will be fine. More the case people realize the reality of extent of privacy. End to end encryption where no one else owns the key is critical and they still have that.


Posted via

Wonderful to be here too

That's not good news to read. But there were already doubts about their claims. Tutanota might also have the same issue if the "Authorities" lean on them.

 10 months ago Reveal Comment

something that isn't even out of beta doesn't give me a lot of faith.

 10 months ago Reveal Comment

LOL, wut? You said legends use it, which is bs as no one uses it as it is brand new. They are not even 4 months old. But yup, I'm just a hater.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

 10 months ago Reveal Comment
 10 months ago Reveal Comment

Please downvote and mute this horrible account. @gangstalking It likes to downvote harass bully intimidate and be such a general nuisance that the community has gotten tired of it.

In fact we need to have a way to remove certain accounts from being able to abuse the community in the event such abuse has truly gone to catastrophic proportions like this one..

Thank you everyone and we really enjoy all of your support as well as love. Our online community will overcome one Petty cereal spammer.

Thank you from me and puppy dog.