On of the best VPN providers around has just proven the efficacy of its no-logs claims after being hit by an inconclusive police raid.
Mullvad reported that six police officers from the National Operations Department (NOA) of the Swedish Police visited its Gothenburg's office with a search warrant. The intent was to seize computers containing customers' personal information, but officers left with nothing as no user details had been stored.
No users' data was compromised, the provider ensured in a tweet.
The National Operations Department (NOA) of the Swedish police has visited Mullvad VPN with a search warrant, with the intention to seize computers with customer data. No customer data was compromised. https://t.co/bMpPRNz88NApril 20, 2023
Mullvad's commitment to privacy
"In line with our policies such customer data did not exist," said Mullvad. "We argued they had no reason to expect to find what they were looking for and any seizures would therefore be illegal under Swedish law."
The team had to demonstrate to the officers how their no-logging VPN works in practice, showing that the security software is built for not collecting or sharing any information about users.
It looks like they successfully managed to do so, as the Swedish police left empty-handed. Not that this mattered too much as they would not be able to access any customer information in any case - explained the provider.
"We find it peculiar that the National Operations Department (NOA) of the Swedish Police make this search warrant visit now, for the first time in our 14-year history," Mullvad CEO Jan Jonsson told TechRadar, adding that they don't know exactly what the officers were looking for.
"They should know, by now, how our service works. Our business is all about the fight against data retention and we never store any activity logs of any kind."
This is just the latest incident that demonstrates how critical it is to choose a VPN service with a strict no-logging policy in place.
It was the first time for the Swedish-based provider to be visited by law enforcement, but these types of requests are more common than we might think.
That's why it has become common practice among the most secure VPNs on the market to have their no-logs claims regularly audited by an independent firm.
Mullvad's transparent commitment in protecting users' privacy isn't anything new, though.
The provider axed recurring subscriptions last year, clearly putting privacy before profits. More recently, it joined forces with the Tor Project to develop its privacy-focused Mullvad browser to challenge today's online mass surveillance.
Mullvad is also actively engaged in raising awareness against the EU Chat Control, a proposed law similar to the Online Safety Bill that seeks to undermine encryption.
"Mullvad is usually a very silent company. This is probably the first time we really got mad enough to speak out," Jonsson told TechRadar, explaining how a lack of privacy would end up deteriorating the development of democracies - as much offline as it is online.