ProtonMail Wins Appeal Over Surveillance Rules

Geneva-based Proton AG, the company behind ProtonMail and ProtonVPN, has won an appeal regarding its treatment under Swiss law governing telecommunications surveillance, a Swiss Court said Friday, Reuters reported.

On Friday, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court upheld Proton’s appeal against the Swiss Post and Telecommunications Surveillance Service (PTSS) over obligations to store data and monitor email traffic. The court confirmed that email services can’t be considered telecommunications providers in Switzerland, and therefore are not subject to data retention requirements.

Reuters also posted a quote from Proton founder and Chief Executive Andy Yen about the ruling. Andy Yen said it was an “important first step” in its campaign to advance privacy and freedom.

“We expect there to be further attempts to force tech companies to undermine privacy in both Switzerland and abroad, and we are committed to continuing to challenge this through both our encryption technology and through the courts,” Andy Yen said.

The Swiss Federal Administrative Court is the highest judicial authority in Switzerland. It rules as the final instance on all appeals against decisions of the highest cantonal courts, the Federal Criminal Court, the Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Patent Court. The court ensures that Swiss federal law is correctly applied in individual cases and the rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution are protected.

ProtonMail’s About Page says that their founding team met at CERN and created ProtonMail, Proton Technologies AG has grown into a global leader in online security. The About Page also says: Today, we are the world’s largest secure email provider with over one million users. In addition to our headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and we have support centers in San Francisco, CA, and Skopje, Macedonia.