Email just got a whole lot more secure with the official launch of ProtonMail this morning. The encrypted email startup was the subject of a successful crowdfunding campaign that saw it gain major support over the past two years.
— ProtonMail (@ProtonMail) March 17, 2016
While the free service was invite only for that time period, the ProtonMail team explains their decision to leave beta in such a crucial moment for privacy protection.
There were several motivations behind our decision to open up ProtonMail. We have seen in the past couple years, an increasing trend towards more and more surveillance around the world. Whether it is CISA in the US, the Investigatory Powers Bill in the UK, or even the recent FBI case against Apple, the forces working to undermine online privacy are growing. We understand that governments have concerns when it comes to terrorism and encryption, but undermining our collective security by weakening cryptography is the wrong approach. Whether we admit it or not, we are now in the middle of a second crypto war.
It is clear that if people around the world don’t stand up for privacy now, this right will be stripped from us. However, this fight is winnable if we stand together as we saw in Switzerland this winter. Today, even Apple, the world’s largest tech company has moved towards the side of greater privacy protections. This is why opening up ProtonMail to the world is more important now than ever. The best way to defend our right to privacy is to get the necessary tools out to the general public as quickly as possible, and put the decision into the hands of the people and not governments.
The Geneva based service has also launched with native Android and iOS apps and will remain free. However, a premium account is available, something the developers urge fighters of privacy rights to sign up for.