ProtonMail is an email service that is developed by a team of scientists who met while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. Our goal is simple: we want to protect people around the world from the mass surveillance that is currently being perpetrated by governments and corporations around the world.
We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right that must be protected at any cost. The advent of the internet has now made all of us more vulnerable to mass surveillance than at any other point in human history. The disappearance of online privacy is a very dangerous trend as in many ways privacy and freedom go hand in hand.
ProtonMail uses breakthrough web technologies and proven cryptographic algorithms to protect your privacy. Because of our end-to-end encryption, your data is already encrypted by the time it reaches our servers. We have no access to your messages, and since we cannot decrypt them, we cannot share them with third parties. We host all our servers in Switzerland outside US and EU jurisdiction so all user data is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws.
We feel that the best way to guard against mass surveillance is to give encryption to everybody by making it free and easy to use. This is why ProtonMail works out of any modern web browser, and why we went to great lengths to make the complex cryptography completely invisible to the user.
Your email is encrypted by default and can be accessed from your home computer, laptop, tablet and your iPhone or Android device effortlessly. ProtonMail accounts are also fully backwards compatible with existing email so you can continue to send and receive email from friends who aren’t using ProtonMail. We believe the world deserves better email which is why we've also developed a full line of extra email features:
The first $100,000 will give us enough money to buy and host the servers we need to support all users currently on our waiting list. With some luck, it will be enough for us to get ProtonMail out of beta. This will allow us to introduce paid accounts with additional storage after which the ProtonMail project can be self-sustaining.
However, we have a much bigger vision for ProtonMail, and we need your help to hire and expand our team. Below are some of our stretch goals:
We will build these features even if the targets are not met, but without additional funding, it will take us much much longer. Additional funding will also allow us to build a stronger service that is more resilient to attacks and outside pressure. With your support, we can make internet privacy a reality again and protect freedom around the world.
"The only email system the NSA can't access" – Forbes
"ProtonMail's security measures are intense: end-to-end encryption and user authentication protocols so rigorous even the creators can't read user emails." – Huffington Post
"Three young entreprenuers, inspired by their time at CERN have launched ProtonMail, a secure email service with a sophisticated encryption system to deter would-be spies." – CERN News
"A new email service being developed by a group from MIT and CERN promises to bring secure, encrypted email to the masses and keep sensitive information away from prying eyes." – Boston Herald
"By incorporating the company in a country with some of the most strict privacy laws in the world, the developers keep the system out of the legal jurisdiction of both the U.S. and the European Union." – USA Today
"ProtonMail won’t have access to encryption keys and they won’t log personally identifiable information such as IP addresses." – TechSpot
"All in all, I was quite impressed by ProtonMail. The service doesn’t sacrifice simplicity for the sake of security." – Cryptocoins News
When we launched our public beta on May 16th we immediately had tens of thousands of users from around the world sign up which rapidly exceeded our server capacity. We are working hard to accommodate everybody, but with many more users still on our waiting list, we simply need more resources.
We firmly believe that ProtonMail can only succeed in its mission if it remains independent. By raising money through crowd funding, we can ensure that our first and only priority is protecting the privacy of our users.
There are certain powerful governments and corporations out there who are in the business of controlling and exploiting personal data that will try to hinder us. If we want to live in a future where privacy on the internet is respected, we must stand together now and fight for those rights. With your support, we can make this brighter future a reality.
Basic ProtonMail accounts are free and will always be free, because many of the people most in need for email that is secure against government surveillance, are also the ones least able to pay.
We do however have some special perks for ProtonMail contributors. Most contributors will get priority access on our waiting list which means you will be first in line to get a ProtonMail account as soon as we have capacity. Larger contributors will also get one year of ProtonMail+ which is a premium account that provides an additional 1GB of storage space.
Finally, it is also possible to get an exclusive ProtonMail T-shirt!
The ProtonMail team includes 5 developers who met while working at CERN and MIT, and have strong backgrounds in software, computing, and mathematics. Our core development team includes:
Jason is responsible for designing ProtonMail's user interface and front end encryption. He has over 10 years of software development experience working with large organizations such as Epson, 3M, Versace, and the International Red Cross.
Andy has over 8 years of experience in distributed computing for advanced particle physics applications. He has worked at CERN since 2009 on the ATLAS Experiment and studied physics and economics at Harvard and Caltech.
Wei is our lead backend developer and resident cryptography expert. He builds software for the RE1 Experiment at CERN and is the author of numerous theoretical physics papers. Wei studied physics at MIT.
In addition, we have a dedicated support team focused on providing the best user experience:
Mariana is responsible for gathering feedback and communicating with ProtonMail users worldwide. Mariana graduated from the International School of Lausanne before studying Public Relations at Boston University.
Dayne is in charge of technical support and helps to ensure ProtonMail works well. Dayne studies Computer Science at Harvard University and builds many of our customer support tools. He is also a Bitcoin enthusiast.
Andy Yen Photo Credit: Boston Herald
We’re also looking for more software developers to join our team, if you are passionate about privacy and freedom and want to work on technology that can change the world, email us at email@example.com
I have questions, how can I reach your team?
How will perks be matched to my future ProtonMail account?
If you are already on our waiting list, please use your notification email when you check out on Indiegogo. The notification email is the non-ProtonMail email address you used when registering on our waiting list. With that, we will be able to make sure your perk is delivered.
If you are not on our waiting list, you can already reserve your username here: https://protonmail.ch/invite/index.php
Make sure your Notification Email (not your ProtonMail address) matches the email you use when you donate on Indiegogo.
If you have any problems or questions, don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is ProtonMail Free?
Yes, ProtonMail accounts will always be available for free. In the future, we will have additional features like extra storage that will cost a small amount of money each month and will help us pay the bills.
Does using ProtonMail really mean the NSA cannot read any of my emails?
As a general principle, it is impossible to have 100% safety. More details about the threats that ProtonMail can defend against and those it cannot can be found here: https://protonmail.ch/blog/protonmail-threat-model/
How is ProtonMail funded so far?
So far, just out of the life savings of our founders. We’re willing to risk everything on this idea because this is something that personally means a lot to us.
Do you have a BitCoin (BTC) address I can donate to?
Yes, you can get our BTC details here. If you want a perk, email us your details at email@example.com!
Is it possible to donate via PayPal?
Yes, we have enabled PayPal donations now, but honestly we're not big fans of PayPal. UPDATE 7/1/2014: https://protonmail.ch/blog/paypal-freezes-protonmail-campaign-funds/
$100,000 seems like a very small amount for a major email service, how much money do you actually need?
$100,000 is the minimum that we need to support the users currently on our waiting list. However, if we have $1,000,000, we would be able to easily accomplish all of the objectives we have listed above.
When can I expect to get my perk?
We are doing something that has never been done before: providing encrypted email to everyone. There will be many challenges (both technical and political) so we cannot guarantee that perks can be delivered on time despite our best efforts. Our delivery schedule is provided here. We promise timely and transparent communications if our delivery schedule changes for any reason.
Other than contributing, how can I help?
You can spread the word about ProtonMail to your friends. Security is most effective if everybody uses it so the more people begin using encrypted email, the better!