The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upheld a Geneva-based tech company named Proton‘s appeal against the Swiss Post and Telecommunications Surveillance Service (PTSS) over obligations to store data and monitor email traffic. It has been confirmed by the court that email services can’t be considered telecommunications providers in Switzerland and hence are not subject to data retention requirements.
Andy Yen, the company’s founder and CEO, said the ruling 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,” he added.
Last month ProtonMail found itself in the center of a social media storm after it emerged that the company shared the IP address of one of its users as part of a French investigation that led to the arrest of climate activists. However, the company said that it had to comply with a Swiss court order to provide data that made identifying the activist possible.
ProtonMail was founded in 2013 at the initiative of a group of scientists from CERN in Geneva and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). According to Proton, they are the largest secure email provider and provide end-to-end encryption and state-of-the-art security features.