Beware of Being Locked Out by 1Password

I have been using 1Password for several years. Earlier this year while I was in Russia, I had to renew my 1Password subscription. I was not able to do that because I was in Russia even though my payment system is set up with a Canadian credit card. I was still not able to make a payment, and then my password Syncing stopped working. Even after returning to Canada and contacting 1Password support I still got a message saying that 1Password cannot accept payments from non supported country.

Even though I am currently in Canada and using a Canadian credit card, my account is still locked out. I am switching to a different password manager that focuses on providing service rather than a political agenda.

Maybe “locked out” is not the rights words to describe the issue. I can still get my data out. Currently looking for alternatives.

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One day, during the covid lockdown, I failed to log into my bank twice before I noticed the ‘VPN’ in the corner of my iPad. I turned it off and was able to log in on the third try. I’m not surprised that 1PW uses a similar security policy as my bank.

I am surprised that they haven’t helped you resolve your problem. They were extremely helpful the one time I had to contact them. What did they say when you talked to them?

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In many cases this isn’t a political choice by a software vendor, rather it’s an attempt to comply with the law.

When a country is sanctioned by another country (as Russia widely was when it entered Ukraine), by the laws in those lands, it is not lawful to do business with any organisation or individual which is in those sanctioned countries.

There are a hell of a lot of nuances around sanctions and I’ve only ever scratched the surface in my role, but I suspect that 1Password was simply trying to comply with the law, and the simplest technical way to do that is by using the IP address.

Having said that, it’s disappointing that 1P’s support haven’t helped you.

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Good catch!


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This is also probably a matter of what their payment processor (Stripe, if I am not mistaken) can deploy in order to comply with these sanctions. A proper solution involves “know your customer” processes that are not cheap neither easy.

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Did you try adding a completely new payment method?

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Maybe buying 1Password.com Digital Gift Cards (via PayPal?) can help?

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No disrespect to anyone trying to help the OP, when a paying customer contacts 1Password because they’ve had a problem, 1Password should respond in a helpful way.

If I’d been brushed off as it seems @slyfox has, then I’d be looking for a new service provider.

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Let me preface this whole comment by agreeing with OP in principle - I’d be looking for a new service provider too.

The thing with these sanctions is that the penalties for violating them can be pretty insane. I’m wondering if this is a legal thing where their internal counsel has determined they need 100% complete deniability, which they don’t have once they’ve flagged your account for operating from an OFAC-sanctioned country.

And a company like 1Password might be under extra scrutiny because they’re effectively selling cryptographic services. Not explicitly mentioned in the sanctions, but it’s something the government definitely gets extra-snippy about.

The “brochure” re: the Russia sanctions is here, in case you’re interested in all the craziness that they prohibit as part of the sanctions:

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They wrote yesterday “Given the circumstances surrounding the invasion of Ukraine, we’re unable to accept payments from individuals or organisations in Russia at this time.”

I’ve been back to Canada for a while. It seems that they punish me rather than the payment that I have setup with them. I have a Canadian account with a Canadian credit card.

This left me feeling very salty. I would rather find another service provider.

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Are you using a VPN-Service?

Not currently. No. I did while I was travelling.

I am looking into self hosted solutions.

Looks like it’s a little of both – from March:

As a result of the ongoing sanctions, many payment providers – including ours – have stopped processing payments with a billing address in Russia. We’ve considered alternative payment methods but have ultimately decided against supporting them. In the end, we feel that taking these steps is the right thing to do.

My guess is that after being flagged as trying to pay from Russia they’re assuming you may still be in Russia (eg, using a VPN) – or aren’t taking any chances for compliance or technical reasons (including maybe their payment processor isn’t taking chances).

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FWIW I’m using Strongbox as the keepas client synced to my devices using my Synology server.

Upside: It’s flawless and works well
Downside: I have not opened it up to the net as a whole so sync happens when Im on the same wifi. OTOH I can use the last loaded version on all my devices offline easily so no problem even when traveling. I don’t often change the passwords so that works for me. YMMV

Same here. On balance, their support is super-helpful. But…

I’m guessing that once his account got flagged as associated with Russia “easy to clear up” flew out the window. From what I can tell it’s not really politics on 1PW’s part - it’s a requirement to be compliant with government sanctions.

That’s my experience too. But no matter how nice they were, the odds of me doing something that might be a federal crime for them would be pretty low. :slight_smile:

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Why not Apple Keychain?

Too cumbersome. Opening and finding the right password is a chore.

I think I will use Bitwarden or KeepasXC hosted on Qnap. I am getting more into self hosted services.

Luckily, I am still on 1password legacy standalone version and the vault is not with them.

This was a good reminder for me to look into self hosting solutions.

Before the age of Home NAS devices self-hosting was mostly unthinkable for most consumers. Now, different story. There are many interesting solutions to get your data back and anage it how you want.

That is interesting!
I had the feeling, that looking into the camera to open the Keychain, and selecting the already at the top represented (due to the context) password is a very easy solution.

Which App is doing that in a better way, and how?

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