According to one of the founders of ProtonMail, a secure email startup, PayPal had suspended their account. A PayPal representative reportedly questioned the legality of an encrypted email solution.
ProtonMail is hosted in Switzerland specifically to provide assurances to users that there is no legal jurisdiction for the US to interfere with it, as it reportedly did with LavaBit.
ProtonMail is running an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds. PayPal had taken down the ability to donate via PayPal. They have over $275K in commitments in PayPal and Bitcoin, well over the original goal of $100K.
“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.
“This morning, we received an email and telephone call from PayPal notifying us that our account has been restricted pending further review. At this time, it is not possible for ProtonMail to receive or send funds through PayPal. No attempt was made by PayPal to contact us before freezing our account, and no notice was given,” the statement said.
They added: “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….”