- Privacytools used censorship to protect Protonmail on Reddit
- PrivacyTools references a blog post that is mostly non-related.
- Is PrivacyTools still credible?
1. Privacytools.io Used Censorship to Protect Protonmail
Privacy-Watchdog.io posted two properly cited articles on the subreddit r/privacytools. In response, the forum moderator, trai_dep, censored the two posts by deleting them from the subreddit. They suggested I post to r/conspiracy until I could find “reputable sources to support my claims”. Here’s the problem: Protonmail statements are my primary source. Let’s review the two articles and citations below:
- Privacy-Watchdog Post: Protonmail’s false claim list
- Sources Used: 7 citations from Protonmail, 1 from Reuters, 1 from Vice & 1 from Professor Nadim Kobeissi
- Privacy-Watchdog Post: Protonmail’s Crowdfunding & Equity Sale
- Sources Used: 8 Citations from Protonmail, 3 from Protonmail’s Twitter, 1 from Forbes and 1 From BleepingComputer.
If you do an analysis on Privacytools.io historical article & source approval history, you’ll find these are more than adequate.
2. PrivacyTools References a Mostly Non-Related Reddit Page
Privacytools.io stated: “Visit this post to read r/Protonmail’s responses to these unsourced claims” (archive) . So let’s take a look at where Privacytools directed me, it’s a Reddit post that I created where I ask Protonmail 4 questions:
- How much code was written at MIT?
- Protonmail Eventually Responded: Wei Sun, Protonmail’s Cryptography & Computer science major during their creation, wrote his portion of the code at MIT in an NSA/CIA funded department.
- Has Protonmail provided a response to the US/Swiss MLAT treaty?
- Protonmail Response: “ProtonMail only responds to orders which have been approved by a Swiss court.”
- How much equity does CRV and FONGIT have?
- Protonmail Response: CRV & FONGIT own less than 20%.
- Does Protonmail maintain any close connections with current Gmail/Google employees? If so, what information is shared?
- Protonmail Response: Protonmail received help from a Google Engineer during their DDOS attack in 2015.
For PrivacyTools.io to reference this blog post illustrates they did not read the post. What likely happened was Protonmail provided Privacytools.io with the response PM wanted Privacytools to make. Then Privacytools copy/pasted that response to me without any fact-checking whatsoever.
2. Is PrivacyTools still credible?
Privacytools.io Github shows there is an 8 person team that maintains their website. Their GitHub profile reveals that some of their key creators, like Shifterovich, use Protonmail. Their Patreon page shows they earn $11/month from donations. Protonmail is a million-dollar company with questionable ethics. Is it possible that Protonmail makes donations to PrivacyTools in return for censoring information in their behalf? That’s impossible to know for certain however an analysis of the facts show that Privacytools.io utilized censorship to hide harmful/true information about Protonmail. Censoring the truth should never be done especially by a website like Privacytools.io.
I am just an old defense contractor, with PTSD, running a shitty wordpress site. Privacytools.io and Protonmail’s girly games don’t affect me at all. However, I had a friend who was harmed because of a data security issue. Every day I remember that experience in perfect detail. I don’t have fucking patience to fuck around with censorship or favoritism. Someone could get hurt because they misunderstood their security tools.
Privacytools.io gives advice to many people seeking privacy & security. My concern is someone could get hurt because Privacytools.io censored truth for a company that sends them “donations”. In closing I will quote PrivacyTools website: “Never trust any company with your privacy”. Based on their actions maybe you shouldn’t trust Privacytools.io either.