Proton Technologies, a Swiss technology corporation, has recently won an appeal against the government's surveillance requirements
Proton Technologies is a Swiss IT company founded in 2014 based in Geneva, Switzerland. The primary services they offer are focused on privacy by offering ProtonMail, ProtonVPN and ProtonDrive. They have always expressed that the most important for their company is to keep customers’ data secure.
In 2020 the Swiss Post and Telecommunications Surveillance Services (PTSS) ordered the company to comply with data retention and disclosure obligations imposed on telecommunication provider. The PTSS stated that Proton Technologies services must be treated similar tradition, telecommunication provider. Proton Technologies completely disagreed with this assessment.
Thus, the case was taken to court by Proton Technologies on the grounds that they are no traditional telecommunications provider by any means and therefore shall not be subject to extensive metadata retention rules.
Earlier this year, the company was forced to provide users’ data to Europol, resulting in several arrests of climate activists in France. Additionally, the company was ordered to implement the new data retention principles since that day.
On October 19, 2021, The Swiss Federal Administrative Court ruled in favor of Proton Technologies. Based on a recent Swiss Supreme Court ruling in April, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court stated that email services are distinct from traditional telecommunications providers in Switzerland; consequently, those services follow other rules regarding data retention.