Since Protonmail has been a recent topic of discussion I wanted to share this thread from Reddit where a user had their email suspended for joining a community marketplace (video game based) that they had no emails received/sent from - the signup was the only interaction per the user.

Common ideas of why the ban occurred include a list of email addresses being sent to Protonmail as part of an active investigation to more privacy invading thoughts - I’m not sure you’ll find a (satisfactory) answer in these threads but thought it was worth the read/sharing; the ban has since been reviewed and lifted.

The Proton team provided the following info:

OP was informed about the reason of his account suspension when he appealed. For privacy reasons, we cannot legally comment publicly or share further details about this beyond what has already been stated.

To clarify:

We do not suspend accounts for no good reason. What constitutes a permissible use of our service is clearly outlined in our Terms & Conditions: https://protonmail.com/terms-and-conditions

In the case of false positives, or accounts that may have been mistakenly disabled, users can appeal: https://protonmail.com/abuse Appeals are always reviewed by a person, not a machine.

There are reasons why we are often not able to give advance notice of account suspension. First, some account suspension happens algorithmically. For instance, if accounts are being used to send spam, we need to act immediately to prevent damage to Proton’s IP reputation. Second, in cases like ransomware, if we give warning before account suspension, ransomware actors will not suffer any losses and therefore will continue to conduct illegal activities on ProtonMail. Third, there are also cases where due to court order, we are legally forbidden from informing users in advance.

Our anti-abuse systems and team are not foolproof, and we do make mistakes (although not in this specific case). However, we need to strike a balance between protecting our users, the integrity of our service and compliance with Swiss laws, on one side, and false positives (which we understand can be a source of major inconvenience).

See https://www.teddit.net/r/privacy/comments/l1ep9i/protonmail_disabled_my_account_due_to_illegal/

And for comments on Protonmails response see: https://www.teddit.net/r/ProtonMail/comments/l0jayb/protonmail_deleted_my_acct_after_it_was_reported/

@nutomic
admin
5edit-21M

That they cant say why the user was suspended because of privacy reasons sounds like an excuse. All they have to say is which specific rule was violated, no personal details needed. Unless they want to keep something secret, maybe a court order?

Eventually they wrote back, explaining that it was disabled "as part of an investigation into the OGUers forum." (I censored it because it is an illegal site (?) ) I didn’t remember ever being a part of OGUsrs, and a search in my inbox revealed no emails from the forum.

This is even worse. It sounds like the user was identified based on a data leak from that forum, and not due to activity on protonmail. So it likely went through a government agency. All without giving the user a chance to defend themselves, guilty until proven innocent.

Overall this makes Protonmail even more suspicious than it already was. I wouldnt be surprised at all if the CIA was behind it.

@Axaoe
creator
41M

That was my take to an extent as well (some agency intervention), in the other Lemmy thread I linked I defended Protonmail for some use cases (getting away from Google) but continuing with this train of thought am not sure how much different from something like GMail this makes the service appear and will have to adjust accordingly.

Thank you for letting me know about it, I’m thinking of cutting out Protonmail for business email. In fact, considering cutting out Email as a protocol in general in favor of Matrix/Element. I don’t really need them anymore.

@Axaoe
creator
31M

Glad it helped in some way, it’s nice that Matrix/Element can fill that need!

@BlackCentipede
3edit-21M

Yeah, especially when it’s 5, 10 or 20 mb upload limit that Email have and on Matrix/Element we got 100 mb upload limit. (Not sure why Element client side doesn’t support more than 100 MB, hope they get around to addressing it so I can enable 1 gb upload.)

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