US Secret Service Subpoena and Our Reply

TL;DR read one of the subpoenas we’ve received from the United States Secret Service and our response to it (“We have no documents or records…”)

We Don’t Log Your Activity and We’ll Prove It

Some people think that VPN companies in the United States can’t possibly keep you private. That’s simply not true: companies in the US have the freedom to say to the government screw off when subpoenaed for information they don’t have. And that’s what we do at FoxyProxy.

We get many subpoenas from various government agencies — some from the US federal government, some from US state governments, and some from governments outside of the US (most recently France). Our response to these subpoenas is always the same: we have nothing. And that’s because we don’t log anything about you. How can we provide information about our customers’ activity when we don’t have it?

We can do this because there are no data retention laws in the US, unlike in the EU and many other countries.

To prove it, we’re sharing a subpoena and our response. This one is from the United States Secret Service, July 2017, with our response in September 2017. We’ve redacted names and phone numbers to, ironically, maintain the privacy of the Secret Service agent and prosecutor responsible for the subpoena 🙂

Click the image for the complete document and our response.

Some VPN Companies Lie

Some of our competitors, like PureVPN and WANSecurity, thinks it’s ok to lie to their customers about their privacy policy and then share tracking information with the FBI:

The logs showed how within the span of minutes the same VPN IP address had logged into Lin’s real Gmail address […] PureVPN was later able to link the stalking activity with Lin’s home and work IPs. The information in the affidavit may shock some PureVPN customers, as the company boldly advertises on its privacy policy page that it does not keep any logs.

As of this writing, PureVPN’s privacy policy page still says, “You are Invisible – Even We Cannot See What You Do Online. We Do Not monitor user activity nor do we keep any logs. We therefore have no record of your activities such as which software you used, which websites you visited, what content you downloaded, which apps you used, etc.”

There’s no reason to think this incident is the first or last from PureVPN and WANSecurity.

Another VPN provider, HotSpot Shield, is dealing with a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission alleging they collect data and intercept traffic… a contradiction of their privacy policy to “never log or store user data.”

What Can You Do?

There are many websites that tell you to choose your VPN provider based on privacy and logging alone. That’s not enough. They forget to compare VPN performance, customer support, and native access (connecting to your VPN provider without having to install their proprietary software–which often has malware, advertising, or tracking).

They forget to tell you who is the real customer for most VPN providers: the venture capitalists. The investors. The people who financed the company. They want their money back, and with interest. The VPN company can give that quicker and bigger if they monetize you.

Since our inception in 2006, FoxyProxy has had no investors. We’ve had many such opportunities and passed them over: we won’t compromise our customers for a dollar. We don’t need the money and we don’t need to sell out our loyal following.