Swiss software developer and civil liberties outfit Proton Technologies saw its encrypted email app ProtonMail hit the App Store today.

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The iOS app is a front end for the company's popular free worldwide end-to-end encrypted email service, built on the back of over half a million dollars raised in a 2014 crowdfunding campaign.

ProtonMail invisibly integrates PGP encryption into a modern user interface and operates on the service's "zero access" policy, meaning all messages are stored in encrypted format so that not even ProtonMail has access to their contents.

PGP Encryption

Illustrated example of end-to-end encryption (Image: ProtonMail)

After creating a free email account, users can send and receive encrypted emails automatically, set timers for messages to self-destruct after sending, organize emails using swipe gestures and labels, and also send password-protected encrypted emails to non-ProtonMail email addresses.

ProtonMail's encryption service is open source and hosted entirely in Switzerland, under the protection of some of the world's strongest privacy laws.

Last year, the Swiss Parliament passed a new domestic surveillance law that increased the country's state surveillance capabilities and curtailed privacy rights. However, ProtonMail has concluded that the law does not negatively impact the company's secure email service.

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Boxes of signatures being delivered to the Swiss government in Bern (Image: ProtonMail)

Despite that analysis, ProtonMail joined other civil liberty groups to mount a challenge against the new law, since according to Switzerland's democratic system, any law can be challenged by collecting 50,000 signatures within a period of three months after its passage.

Those efforts resulted in 70,000 signatures being delivered to the Swiss parliament in January. This means that at the next election, the Swiss surveillance law will be put to a public vote by the entire country.

ProtonMail was founded in 2013 by MIT engineers and CERN scientists inspired by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations of government mass surveillance programs.

ProtonMail is a free download for iPad and iPhone. [Direct Link]

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

zioxide Avatar
70 months ago
Great, the new email app of choice for terrorists, kidnappers, pedophiles, cop-killers, murderers, and drug dealers.
Funny how you're a staunch defender of guns on here but don't think law abiding citizens deserve privacy.

If we stop the good guys from having encryption, only the bad guys will have it. Sounds familiar...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fzang Avatar
70 months ago
Great, the new email app of choice for terrorists, kidnappers, pedophiles, cop-killers, murderers, and drug dealers.
Maybe then we could fix society instead of masking symptoms with the petty belief that surveillance and anxiety leads anywhere.

People aren't usually born inherently "bad". Only politicians would have you believe that.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sill Avatar
70 months ago
Great, the new email app of choice for terrorists, kidnappers, pedophiles, cop-killers, murderers, and drug dealers.
Yes of course. And if a car manufacturer decides to make cheap minivans again, that will be the vehicle of choice of human traffickers. And easily obtainable guns are the weapon of choice of murderers. And tall buildings the location of choice for suicides. And if the government isn't involved in health care its racist. etc. Must ban all of it, everything.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pakaku Avatar
70 months ago
Great, the new email app of choice for terrorists, kidnappers, pedophiles, cop-killers, murderers, and drug dealers.
Hooray for over-simplifications
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdowns Avatar
70 months ago
Don't worry, all your kiddie porn will be safe and secure from the FBI. :rolleyes:
Can you point out a single accused pedophile who isn't in jail because the authorities haven't been able to get into his iPhone?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DrewDaHilp1 Avatar
70 months ago
Great, the new email app of choice for terrorists, kidnappers, pedophiles, cop-killers, murderers, and drug dealers.
Sarcasm I hope. If not......“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
Samuel Adams ('http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/31693.Samuel_Adams')
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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