trash
83
@k_o_t
mod
admin
link
183M

this sucks, but I also can’t blame them too much

most people seem to have an unrealistic expectation for protonmail to function as an underground criminal organisation, providing email services to drug dealers, and wiping their asses with subpoenas, which runs contrary to their goal of providing user-friendly private email to as many people as possible, not only the ones that would go to extremes no matter what

Halce
link
123M

The CEO of ProtonMail previously: https://threatpost.com/protonvpn-ceo-blasts-apple-myanmar/165022, and https://protonmail.com/blog/protesters-free-speech is pretty hypocritical now, but you can spot a pattern, that he only opposes the systems and governments the West opposes too. In that way, I consider him to be nothing more, than the willing tool of propaganda, for his own enrichement.

@k_o_t
mod
admin
link
143M

from their comment on reddit, it seems there wasn’t much they could do

In this case, Proton received a legally binding order from the Swiss Federal Department of Justice which we are obligated to comply with. 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).

what did you expect them to do?

Halce
link
13M

Clearly state the difference between ProtonMail and ProtonVPN differences in the kinds of data that are being collected. The issue is not compliance, the issue is that they’d provide enough data for it to be useful, defeating the purpose of their privacy marketing.

poVoq
link
03M

Try a little harder at least. Just the surrounding publicity even for a lost court-case would have been a net benefit.

Their explanation sound like “we couldn’t do anything against this legal over-reach because the entity that did the legal over-reach said that it was all legal and fine”, which when you think about it longer than 3 seconds is true for each and every case where the authorities request something. An internal “review” by a biased party involved in one side is not the same as a real test in court.

@k_o_t
mod
admin
link
43M

from my understanding it’s a legally binding order that they legally literally can’t appeal

poVoq
link
0
edit-2
3M

Yes that is what they claim, but in most jurisdictions there is no such thing as an unappealable order (only after it has been already once dismissed in court can the judge rule-out further appeals) and there usually is some official legal recourse despite what the authorities like to claim in their own self-interest.

If there was a similar precedence case, which would have made chances in court extremely low, then they could have said so. But they basically admit by omission that they didn’t even try.

@k_o_t
mod
admin
link
43M

it’s not helpful to compare to the way this works in the rest of the world, because it doesn’t determine what’s exactly true in this case; I’m not an expert on swiss law by any means (lol), but I suspect that protonmail does have a lawyer proficient in swiss law, probably more than one, and i really doubt that what they tell is a lie

if we are operating off of the assumption that they are bad guys only interested in money (which i personally don’t think is the case), they would very much care about pr, and to not fight the case and then lie about it is pretty much the worst pr they think of

and if even if they did this foolish move, wouldn’t there be at least a few people who understand swiss law who would point out that this is a lie?

poVoq
link
23M

I didn’t say it is blatant lie, but probably one by omission. There probably really isn’t a strait-forward way to appeal it (legal authorities like to do that in cases they know they would get a lot of appeals otherwise), but what do you think would have happened if they had not complied? Usually that then forces a court case, during which they can lay out their reasons why they think this was legal over-reach on the side of the Swiss authorities and a judge would be forced to make a ruling on that.

@k_o_t
mod
admin
link
33M

hmm, i see your point, maybe we should ask pm themselves at /r/protonmail what would happen in that case 🤔

@shortcakefediverse
link
2
edit-2
3M

deleted by creator

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131002/17443624734/lavabit-tried-giving-feds-its-ssl-key-11-pages-4-point-type-feds-complained-that-it-was-illegible.shtml

No they didn’t actually, they turned over the SSL keys in a printed document which would give them access to all users’ data, but the FBI complained that they would have to input it all by hand which could lead to errors and re trials so they forced him to provide with a digital copy, after which he got fined and then decided to close the service.

@shortcakefediverse
link
2
edit-2
3M

deleted by creator

@TheAnonymouseJoker
mod
link
03M

Did you ever attempt to host an email server for activists?

@shortcakefediverse
link
1
edit-2
3M

deleted by creator

Jedrax
link
33M

He’s a business man trying to run a business, while also following the law. The line will always be drawn at keeping the business going.

@TheAnonymouseJoker
mod
link
16
edit-2
3M

As always, comments get piled on while nobody understands the real issue. I expect far better quality than Reddit here.

  • ProtonMail has been exposed multiple times for not being activist friendly.
  • You are not supposed to use emails for high threat models without referring to this guide https://digdeeper.neocities.org/ghost/email.html
  • This is not a question of ProtonMail vs Gmail.
  • This is not a question of self hosting or not.
  • This is not a question about legalese crap, but what ProtonMail really stands for.
  • Everybody needs to understand the difference between privacy, security and anonymity and how this is achieved.
@SrEstegosaurio
link
73M

Ey, thanks for the comment. Really good one. Really useful resource

Jedrax
link
53M

I expect far better quality than Reddit here.

Yes, but we need people like you to provide that content. In short, don’t expect other people to be that change; that change starts with you. Thanks for the resources and level-headed opinion. People in general who use any service provider for “privacy reasons” should only do so to keep the issuing company from scanning their messages and selling data about you. Email itself, regardless of how it’s set up, will fail you if you’re thinking it will keep you hidden.

@TheAnonymouseJoker
mod
link
2
edit-2
3M

My privacy community c/privatelife is in the sidebar of c/privacy ;)

Besides, I have provided massive amounts of content in the form of comments on Lemmy, on this year old account of mine. I am also on Reddit, where my r/privatelife exists.

Jedrax
link
13M

Nice! Appreciate you.

@bluetoucan
link
2
edit-2
3M

This is not a question of ProtonMail vs Gmail.

What do you mean by this?
Presumably for a lot of people that is going to be the main, perhaps only, question.

@TheAnonymouseJoker
mod
link
33M

And that is the problem here. ProtonMail is not going to keep you safe. Gmail is not going to keep you safe. Who is going to keep you safe? Your OPSEC. You possessing the knowledge about how email works, and how privacy, security and anonymity work, and how you will control these elements. These are the things that should be debated, not X vs Y email brand.

@shortcakefediverse
link
9
edit-2
3M

deleted by creator

@SrEstegosaurio
link
133M

That is a big Oof. But yeah, PM is far from being perfect. I use it bc:

  1. Better tan Gmail & etc
  2. Unable to selfhost email :c

But one thing, how secure will be to selfhost your own eMail? If I selfhost one, which will be the most secure & private teaks that I can apply?

@blank_sl8
link
63M

If you selfhost the email on your own hardware, then the IP will be apparent to anyone. If you selfhost it on somebody else’s hardware, they can be legally compelled to log your IP as happened here with proton. But if you aren’t committing any crimes, selfhosting either way is probably more private than proton, since you are more confident in what software is running, while with proton you have to trust that the frontend being served is actually the e2e encrypted one

Lessgoo
link
53M

Have you considered disroot mail? It’s what I use and it’s awesome

@iortega@lemmy.eus
link
33M

I personally use migadu. Don’t know about how private it is but I is cheap and allows for loads of addresses and domains.

@Canard
link
23M

I red that reverse DNS is needed to not be considered as spammer, but my internet provider does not allow it yet. So in the meantime, I use Protonmail because of the first point you stated.

@tomtom
link
13M

I use a vps. pretty cheap like 60 euros a year. you can pay in monero which I like.

poVoq
link
13
edit-2
3M

Not a huge surprise, but the apparent total lack of legal resistance by ProtonMail to what looks like legal over-reach by the French & Swiss authorities is going to be a PR disaster for them, and rightly so.

@N0b3d
link
23M

“Over-reach” in what way?

poVoq
link
9
edit-2
3M

I did not look very deeply into that, but from what I read it was the French authorities that utilized anti-terror laws against some climate protesters that were squatting buildings in Paris, and because “terrorism” is a crime in Switzerland too the Swiss authorities just complied with the French request without questioning if the application of such laws was appropriate in relation to the “crime” committed.

IANAL, but if ProtonMail had legally challenged this there would have been at least a chance that a judge would have ruled in favor of ProtonMail because of this unjustified use of anti-terror legislation.

@SrEstegosaurio
link
13M

Yeah, but this helps exposing that you can’t trust nobody.

@tomtom
link
13M

or better yet you can only trust nobody

poVoq
link
113M

I wish they would go into more detail why this specific case could not be legally challenged. Their response sounds good otherwise (especially also that they recommend Tor for such cases), but this deliberate omission makes me think that the case was maybe not so clear cut after all.

@Gmork
link
83M

I am assuming they were not using proton VPN?

@blank_sl8
link
8
edit-2
3M

Even if their were, proton company would have been legally required to trace their connection through proton VPN. Using tor would have been the better move.

EDIT: apparently swiss laws exempt VPNs from these sorts of legal issues.

riccardo
link
3
edit-2
3M

Would they? According to their recent blogpost about the controversy:

  1. Under current Swiss law, email and VPN are treated differently, and ProtonVPN cannot be compelled to log user data.

…just pasting their claims. If this is true, using a Swiss based, no-logging VPN would be enough to avoid your IP being revealed

@blank_sl8
link
23M

That’s very interesting. I’ve updated my coment.

@downdaemon
link
53M

Fuck I pay for them!

@Zalamander
link
3
edit-2
3M

I have looked a bit into it. In case anyone is curious, I believe that the authorities found the e-mail in question (jmm18@protonmail.com) here:

https://paris-luttes.info/occupation-d-un-local-du-petit-14575?lang=fr

And/or here:

https://radar.squat.net/fr/event/paris/local-du-h/2021-02-24/ag-publique

@punctual
banned
link
33M

Crazy

@johnsmith444
link
23M

Really what is the average person suppose to do to have a private email? I heard Edward Snowden say that email is fundamentally flawed and will never be secure. I’ve thought about hosting my own email server, but even then i need to buy a domain name likely with my own card, buy a VPS with my own card and it traces back to me.

@Ferk
link
4
edit-2
3M

“Private” and “Anonymous” are different things.

You can protect privacy with encryption, and I believe ProtonMail does work for that, but trying to protect anonymity is an entirely different beast. I’m not convienced it’s possible at all in any way that’s reliable (not just email but also even simple web browsing) unless there’s a change in how routing works in the internet, or a new layer is developed (like I2P, but even that’s not really a warranty).

@ThreeHopsAhead
link
13M

Tor Browser works decently for web browsing. It’s a trade off in convenience, but its anonymity is pretty strong. If you need even stronger security, you can go with Tails or Whonix.

You can create a ProtonMail account over Tor, bur you need to verify it with a phone number or a small payment that you again need to get anonymously. It’s a lot of effort, but it’s possible to operate a ProtonMail account anonymously. Whether you really need this is up to your threat model. Also in this case a simple VPN would have probably been enough.

@Ferk
link
1
edit-2
3M

Yes, Tor is another example of a “new layer” on internet routing (I2P functions the same, you can also use it to access the clearnet if you know an exit node). VPN would be fine if you could trust the provider, but imho that’s just shifting the trust to some other company, more of a patch rather than a proper solution to online anonymity.

@shortcakefediverse
link
1
edit-2
3M

deleted by creator

@Ferk
link
1
edit-2
3M

Sure, someone can have high standard for privacy and at the same time have no desire for anonymity. But what was compromised in this case is the identity of the person who owns the email. The email remains private, just not anonymous.

@shortcakefediverse
link
1
edit-2
3M

deleted by creator

@Ferk
link
1
edit-2
3M

What the email provider snitched is the IP address (which wasn’t “tori-fied”). So it was anonymity what was compromised in this case.

The email was openly used for activism so the police was already investigating it, they only wanted to know the identity of the physical person behind it, and that’s what ProtonMail helped with, since the activist didn’t use anonymizers. The police didn’t need to decrypt the contents of the account or compromise its privacy (which is what using ProtonMail would have protected against), just its anonymity.

@tomtom
link
13M

rent a VPS with monero

the content emails could easily deanonymize you to whoever runs the VPS place.

@Lunacy
link