ProtonMail and Anonymity

Mark Rousell markr at
Mon May 6 19:55:50 CEST 2019

On 06/05/2019 17:07, Stefan Claas wrote:
> Thanks for pointing that out! O.k. I do not want to get to off-topic
> here but it interests me what would happen if I use a US based server
> and a US domain with whois guard? Would ProtonMail really hunt down
> a proxy server operator, or let's say other email providers, when
> doing such a thing, or would they simply block access from that
> domain? I mean it is not a crime to run a proxy server.

(a) It's not a crime to run a proxy in the UK or EU[1]. It's just that
there are metadata logging and log-retention requirements if you do so.
(Once again, I apologise because I've lost my notes on all the EU and UK
legislation that may require this. It's findable on DuckDuckGo or the
search engine of your choice of course).

(b) ProtonMail isn't going to hunt down anyone (unless, maybe, they are
forced to by their local law enforcement). They aren't the police and
they're not even based in the EU, so they don't care.

(c) I do not know how the relevant legislation would work if you are a
UK or EU resident but set up your proxy service on hardware based in the
USA or another jurisdiction that does not enforce logging. A careful
reading of the legislation that is relevant to your local jurisdiction
might inform you.

1: Although I fear that the UK is heading in this direction. That it,
not to outright criminalise proxies or VPNs but to 'regulate', control
and license their use. The cassus belli for this will, I suspect, be
probably very widespread evasion of the forthcoming 'porn block' using
proxies and VPNs.

Mark Rousell

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Key ID: C9C5C162

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