Proxy.sh the proclaimed VPN service provider, based in Seychelles has recently removed an exit node from its warrant canary, with a statement certifying that “no warrants, seizures or searches that have not been published in our Transparency Report, have taken place to the date of publication.”
Simply put, the questioned blog post said that “the users are informed that they do not wish to mention France 8 (18.104.22.168) in their warrant canary until further notified.” If we go into little deep into the statement then, the statement implies that the France 8 node has been subjected to a warrant, but a gag order prohibits Proxy.sh from revealing that fact directly to its users. Though it is still not clear who served the warrant and Proxy.sh is not able to reveal that for obvious reasons.
However, following comment made by Proxy.sh was recovered from Torrentfreak.com, which said, “They recommend their users not to connect to this node anymore. Moreover, they are doing whatever it takes to include that node into their warrant canary again.”
Meanwhile, another VPN service provider VPNCompare.co.uk noticed that despite the warning from Proxy.sh “The France 8 node is continuing to be widely utilized by the users.”
Back in 2013, Ars wrote about proxy.sh and about its user privacy statement related to data handling and protection, the article did not catch much attention. The report also stated quoting Nate Cardozo, who is a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation that the user policy is the single worst policy of its kind that he has ever seen.
However, as later developments Proxy.sh has made significant changes to the terms of its ethical user policy, it was as a result of the criticism from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Proxy.sh also thanked the foundation for their criticism.
It is noteworthy that, the policy now states that, “they are based in Seychelles, and if any domestic laws or restriction is contradictory to their mission and values, they will not hesitate to shift to a new location.” Moreover, if they find themselves unable to find such place then they will submit themselves to corporate hara-kiri. They will close business and will provide a refund to their customers from the assets that they will be having at their disposal.
The promise made to commit corporate hara-kiri is a reference to the decision of the CEO of Lavabit, where they shut down their email company rather than providing real-time monitoring to one of its users.
Walking on the same footings earlier this year, Ars sister Reddit also made an announcement removing a “warrant canary” from its transparency report. This could very well be taken as an indirect signaling method and of their growing necessity in current time.