PayPal Questions Legality of Encrypted Email

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
While the $275,000 ProtonMail has raised in the past 2 weeks is a large amount, it pales in comparison to many other crowdfunding campaigns that have raised sums in excess of $1,000,000 so we can’t help but wonder why ProtonMail was singled out. When we pressed the PayPal representative on the phone for further details, he questioned whether ProtonMail is legal and if we have government approval to encrypt emails. We are not sure which government PayPal is referring to, but even the 4th Amendment of the US constitution guarantees:The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures….”
statement: https://protonmail.ch/blog/paypal-freezes-protonmail-campaign-funds/

news article: http://rt.com/news/169588-paypal-freeze-payments-protonmail/
 
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raindog308

vpsBoard Premium Member
Moderator
I suspect the real reason is that they don't want to be hassled with all of the government search warrants that will accompany providing financial services to that organization.

May even be the result of government regulation, e.g. "as a bank, there are special rules that say you're not allowed to deny service to a customer just because you choose to, but if you want make up a good reason then you can".  But I'm guessing.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
What the hell is wrong with PayPal?.... Crypto is legal and better always be.

This was crowd funding... not people paying for such a service.... I wonder if the chip in donations have been deducted from accounts of folks and PayPal is sitting on them?

Long term if this alterna-crypto-mail service sees the light of day, first task at hand is to NOT accept traditional banking  payments and PayPal.  Alterna currencies, cash, gift cards, etc.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
and it looks like PayPal is caving under public pressure:

UPDATE 2: 7/1/2014, 1700h, PayPal has let us know that the restrictions on our account have now been lifted and we have been able to extract our funds. Thank you for your support on this matter, it no doubt played a large part in getting PayPal to do the right thing in record time.
 
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Cloudrck

Member
Verified Provider
Is he also unsure about encrypting web traffic? What about database information?
 
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AuroraZero

Active Member
I was thinking about setting something like up just the other day. Not in the U.S. of course but was not completely sure of hassle I would be in for with the regulations if U.S. citizens and companies used the service. Also being a U.S. citizen myself I am not sure what regs would be put on me as a person or business. In other words not sure if it would be worth the hassle or not right now.
 

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
 Also being a U.S. citizen myself I am not sure what regs would be put on me as a person or business.
If the email service is run by an American person/company it's subject to U.S. laws even if the hosting is done outside the U.S. tl;dr the US government could make your life a living hell if you try to resist their requests
 

AuroraZero

Active Member
If the email service is run by an American person/company it's subject to U.S. laws even if the hosting is done outside the U.S. tl;dr the US government could make your life a living hell if you try to resist their requests
That is exactly as I figured it and one reason why I am probably not going to be doing do this as a business. The potential fall out not just for me but for my family would the worst part. I could take the heat, as I am the one doing the business, but my family should be left out of it. I know they would not be though when I did not bough down to them.
 

serverian

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
Am I having a stroke of they just integrated PGP with JS on a web mail interface and earned $270K?
 

perennate

New Member
Verified Provider
It was some Paypal representative who doesn't know much, who cares. The issue here is Paypal froze ProtonMail's funds without warning, not that one of their employees said some stupid things.
 
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Hxxx

Active Member
What the hell is wrong with PayPal?.... Crypto is legal and better always be.

This was crowd funding... not people paying for such a service.... I wonder if the chip in donations have been deducted from accounts of folks and PayPal is sitting on them?

Long term if this alterna-crypto-mail service sees the light of day, first task at hand is to NOT accept traditional banking  payments and PayPal.  Alterna currencies, cash, gift cards, etc.
Crypto is legal as long as the government has the method to decrypt it. As always.
 
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