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After reading this question I was wondering about the legal applications of the terms-of-service of Privateinternetaccess.com (PIA): a VPN provider. What's a VPN provider? If you have one, all your internet traffic goes through it.

One of the largest claims PIA makes is that it doesn't keep any logs so that theoretically even if a government issues a warrant they would be unable to disclose any information on the activities of its users.

According to this article PIA claims "We absolutely do not maintain any VPN logs of any kind." Is it legal not to keep any logs? Did they just "pull a legal fast one" by saying VPN logs so if they were to hand over information about a user they would just say it was from a non-VPN log?

From the first linked page:

Failure to comply with the present Terms of Service constitutes a material breach of the Agreement, and may result in one or more of these following actions:

  • Issuance of a warning;
  • Immediate, temporary, or permanent revocation of access to Privateinternetaccess.com with no refund;
  • Legal actions against you for reimbursement of any costs incurred via indemnity resulting from a breach;
  • Independent legal action by Privateinternetaccess.com as a result of a breach; or
  • Disclosure of such information to law enforcement authorities as deemed reasonably necessary.

When they say "Disclosure of such information," to what information could they refer? They claim they don't keep any information. Is the statement saying, "they will comply with the law, by showing their (empty) logs"?

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There is not necessarily a contradiction. Information that they may keep may be:

  • Account information
  • Subscriber information
  • Information on breaches of the Terms of Service or Agreement

So yes, they might certainly not keep any logs – although that claim is doubtful, since they almost certainly keep at least error-level logs of their services – but that doesn't mean that they have no information to disclose to law enforcement.

It's also questionable what "logs" refers to – would aggregate statistics be considered a log, by law? Would your last known IP address be considered a log, provided they don't keep any other history?

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