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Harvard and MIT Students Launch ‘NSA-Proof’ Email Service: ProtonMail

A group of Harvard and MIT students have created an email service they insist is completely NSA-proof. The new email platform is called ProtonMail. The service’s five founders met while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, and bonded over a shared desire to build a secure email service.

ProtonMail is end-to-end encrypted email that is based offshore in Switzerland, where the team could operate free of surveillance mandates. Although "encryption is not necessarily a new technology," according to Yen, "only one to two percent of the population knows how to do it." ProtonMail handles the entire process without forcing users to install any software, and promises NSA-proof correspondence.

"Say you're an activist in China fighting for democracy, this is a life or death service."
"Even we don't have the ability to read that email," Yen asserted. "If we can't read it, we obviously can't turn it over to any government agencies."


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Anyone receive an invite yet?

It's been over a week for me. I was just wondering if they're giving out accounts soon or perhaps in a couple months?

I'm hoping soon.

I Support their efforts

Yes, there may be a back door built in and yes maybe it isn't as safe as it could be. But why knock it when these kids wholeheartedly are trying to put a good product out there?

It's important for us to support them and show them that there is demand for these kinds of products. Only then can the seeds of competition grow.

Besides, in terms of privacy and safety, is anything worse than gmail, yahoo, or hotmail?

Garan's picture

KimDotCom's Mega service is developing this as well.

They don't appear to have a hard release date, yet it looks like it's been in the works for over a year.


wasn't there a story a while

wasn't there a story a while ago about an encrypted email service being rife with fbi agents? they spent their time infiltrating a "secure" email service because they figured they'd actually catch people committing felonious acts. In many ways I think the open email services might be safer dependent upon what you're doing.

Unless they laid their own

Unless they laid their own cables in the ocean, how good is the nsa at disabling encryption? did they develop their own encryption program?

Not Sure

Do I trust the higher ups at Harvard? No.

Could they have compromised something or slipped in a backdoor? Perhaps, probably not with MIT's involvement.

Will I use this over other NSA-proof e-mail provider? Hell no

What are the other NSA-proof

What are the other NSA-proof email providers?

I know Lavabit got shut down. Are there any other ones outside of ProtonMail?

Also why do you say Harvard "higher-ups"? It says they are students.

Checkout startmail.com

I think the beta is closed but I imagine they will be opening for business soon. Until someone releases an end to end open source secure email solution, you are going to have to trust that these secure email providers are actually doing what they say they are doing.

I got the free trial for

I got the free trial for Startpage. But is it NSA-proof? Is the email encrypted and private if I send an email from startpage to gmail?

Of course what you say is true

But how do you know your current email provider is any more secure?

Ron Paul - Intellectual hero