We expected it from WhatsApp, but not that ProtonMail provided the IP of a French activist to help his arrest

ProtonMail and WhatsApp spied on

Today two pieces of news have been published that we are going to summarize in one to make one thing clear: nothing is 100% private on the internet. One of the news talks about WhatsApp, and personally it has not surprised me at all, but the other talks about Protonmail, a service that encrypts emails to the point that in Russia was blocked. Now, the news is very different from one another, and much more worrying is the report on the Facebook-owned messaging app.

So and how we read on 9to5Mac, a report from a reliable source ensures that messages cannot be end-to-end encrypted (end-to-end), since Facebook is somehow able to see their content. The report mentions metadata analysis, a method that the famous social network company is known to use to detect problematic messages without knowing the content, but it also means that moderators and engineer can "examine user messages, images and videos ».

ProtonMail cooperates, but within the law

The report on WhatsApp and its real end-to-end non-encryption says that moderators work under conditions of extreme secrecy, but, as I say, if a human can see it, a Facebook AI can analyze a lot more, so it could do what best knows: learn what interests us to show us personalized advertising.

The other news is a little more surprising, but only a little if we take into account how the events have happened. So and how do you pick up Tech Crunch, a French activist was using ProtonMail to communicate with other people. The French police could do nothing to access any type of information about these messages, but Europol made the Swiss authorities, where the service is hosted and whose laws it has to comply with, ask them for all the information they could provide. The only thing they did under a court order was give the French police the activist's IP; the content of emails remains unknown.

However the IP opened a new avenue of investigation for them and in the end they found him. There is a big difference between both ways of acting: with WhatsApp we already know that we have zero privacy; With ProtonMail, at least what we send will only be seen by us and the recipient, but no service is exempt from complying with the laws of the country where it operates, and we have to be aware of this.


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  1.   ProtonMailvendemotos said

    Well things are not exactly like the accounts. In how it happened if. Let's see, that everyone finds out now, all Internet services, whether they are mail, vpn, etc., no matter how much they talk about privacy, if a court order comes, they will have to collaborate, this is absolutely for everyone the Internet services of the whole world, that of the country does not matter. The key is only one, if the country where that service is located forces you or not to keep records, if it does not oblige you and everything and so it saves them, then you are violating their privacy policies that they advertise so much. Example: VPNs located in the mouth of the US wolf, in the US, they are not forced to keep records and therefore there have been cases of court orders for the VPNs to collaborate with justice and they have collaborated without problem, but as they did not keep records because the law does not oblige them, because it turns out that with a court order and everything, they could not get even a sad IP, I did not invent this myself, there have been several cases, so the important thing is what the law of that country dictates and the good work of the service. I doubt very much that in Switzerland they have the obligation to keep the records, therefore ProtonMail acts badly and lies, because if they will not keep records, the same does not matter the court order that comes to them, because yes, they would have collaborated with the justice, but not having records could have gotten absolutely nothing. That's the way things are, so in the case of hiring, for example, a good VPN, you have to make sure that they do not keep records and that the law of the country where it is located does not oblige them to keep records.

  2.   Dear emilio said

    All services are subject to the laws of the country where it is located. The Swiss judicial authorities may require such data when the act is considered a crime in Switzerland. This IP address was allegedly used to summon and direct public disorder and coordinate the seizure of public buildings in France during the "yellow vest" protests. The taking of public buildings is considered a crime in France and in other countries, whether or not Donald Trump does it. On the other hand, anyone who believes that he is totally anonymous when using an internet service needs to be looked at by a doctor. If you are not monitored by the owner of the service, you are monitored by the ISP, the software manufacturer or the manufacturer of the device you used. Even if they tell you they don't ... but hey, there are still people who believe in Santa Claus.

    1.    ProtonMailvendemotos said

      As I told you, it turns out that there has not only been this case in life, there have been many more, the fact that you have not found out does not mean that they have not happened and there have been several vpns, for even many more serious things they have been asked to collaborate with justice and they have done it without question, but since the law did not oblige them to keep records, they did not keep them and therefore everything that they put at the disposal of the justice did not clarify anything, because there was nothing. Even most vpn servers today go for ram, which disconnects the server and everything disappears.

      It is not believing in miracles, it is the reality of life and being informed, as I am, that you do not believe it, that is your problem.

      If protonmail had not kept records, nothing would have happened, point ball, the problem is not the court order, the problem is that protonmail has breached its privacy conditions by keeping records when it boasted of saying otherwise, point ball again.

      1.    I do not have a name said

        But he was caught precisely for using e-mail, not for vpn. And that is recorded by any company. They all know who is connecting to their services. It was precisely commented that if he had used vpn or entered from Tor, they would not have caught him. The uncle entered the mail as is, with his home IP, without vpn, without an anonymous browser in the Tor plan, or anything. How is Protonmail not going to know who connects like this? And how can it not collaborate with justice? They make it very clear when creating your account, privacy does not mean immunity. If they are asked for something for a crime that is criminalized in Switzerland, they collaborate with the justice system. They warn you. They are transparent in that sense.

        Whoever uses Protonmail services does it so that neither Google on duty nor Facebook on duty is looking at their emails. And in that Protonmail complies. Even in the present case they have not been able to see the emails. It is all encrypted and can only be seen by the account owner. Protonmail has not behaved in any way, has not lied, or done anything wrong, much less has violated the privacy or privacy of anyone.

        Here certain people have simply seen that they may try to damage the image of that company and have been slaughtered.

  3.   Valentine said

    WhatsApp is not anonymous and is not secure. What kind of privacy are we talking about? If the article was about the utopia ecosystem, it would be great