Civil Liberties

Encrypted Email, Easy and Free

The snoops aren't going away on their own, you know



Demand is high, so you'll have to wait in line a bit for the outfit to free up capacity, but all ProtonMail email accounts requested by June 17 (that's tomorrow), get an upgrade to 1GB of storage. The storage is nice, but it's the email accounts itself that matters. That's because ProtonMail is a free, browser-based, encrypted email service. It gives you security without having to master glitchy plugins or challenging tech (yes, you geeks—lots of people find this stuff challenging). It's pretty much like using Gmail, but minus the likelihood of being snooped on by marketing types, intelligence snoops, or asshole federal prosecutors.

ProtonMail got its start in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations, when scientists at CERN decided that they didn't really want to provide browsing opportunities for the NSA. The service's technology is designed so that, unlike the late, lamented Lavabit, only users have access to their own email—there's no ability to comply with subpoenas. Servers are based in Switzerland, reducing the likelihood of backdoors being installed by the world's pushier intelligence services (among other things, they can use American court orders for toilet paper, so you don;t have to wait out the encryption wars).

Together with other encrypted and also-free communications offerings, like TextSecure, Signal, and RedPhone, ProtonMail makes relatively (let's emphasize that) secure communications accessible to pretty much everybody.

Keep it coming folks. These are the sort of developments we need.