I’ve previously written about ProtonMail, but for those who don’t have time to read up on it let me fill them in quickly: ProtonMail came about in the wake of the NSA leaks published by Glenn Freenwald, basically it’s email that’s encrypted as much as can be and as effortlessly as possible to the end user. No screwing around with PGP or any of that, there are two passwords required for use: one to access your account and another to decrypt your email. So even if someone gets the former they’d need the latter to see your actual messages.
I’ve been using it on and off for quite some time now, basically since my account went live, as the entire thing originally started off with an IndieGoGo campaign in order to generate sufficient revenue to pay for servers and all that good stuff.
Last night I received an email to my Gmail account notifying me I had a new message in ProtonMail (which I love because you can set it up to send you emails to other accounts saying “hey, you have mail”, without it showing the actual message naturally) and just now did I get the chance to check the message and in it I found the following:
Subject: We are opening up ProtonMail for everybody!
Thank you for using ProtonMail!
To celebrate our 1 year anniversary, we are upgrading all accounts created by June 17th, 2015 to 1GB of free storage! Many of you have also asked for a way to share ProtonMail with friends and family. To do that, we have created a special link that allows instant account creation:
You can send this link to friends and family and they will be able to get a ProtonMail account instantly. As our server capacity is still limited, we will only keep this link active until June 17th, 2015 (or until we hit capacity limit). Also after June 17th, all new accounts will default to 500MB of free storage.
Over the past year, ProtonMail has proven to be reliable with less than 12 hours of total downtime (mostly scheduled maintenance), no incidents of permanent data loss, and no reports of user data compromise. Over that same period, the ProtonMail user community has grown from 10,000 to 500,000 people.
As you know, we respect your privacy and do not track detailed user activity. Therefore, to continue to improve ProtonMail, we need to rely on direct feedback from you and would love to hear your suggestions or criticisms in the following survey:
Many of the improvements mentioned in the survey will be coming soon. In the past few months alone, we have added new features like folders/labels, encrypted attachments, the protonmail.com domain, and more:
We look forward to continuing this exciting journey with you!
The ProtonMail Team
We believe privacy is a fundamental human right which is why we are supported by donations instead of advertisements. If you would like to support us, please visit:
Clicking that first link you see above takes you to the page that’ll let you create an account. The third link takes you to the new features and all that.
Now, do you need another email address? Likely not. If, however, you want one with encryption enabled by default and without having to fuss with setting it all up yourself then I highly recommend ProtonMail. There are other options out there but none as easy to use, trust me when I say I’ve looked into all that. But, bangishotyou, why would you care about encryption, have you something to hide? And my response to that could go all over the place with so many choice quotes (because I am a quote fan), but one of my favorites has always been by Henry Kissenger, “Even paranoid people have enemies.”
And I am repeating it yet again, but anyone who enters this post and even contemplates saying “you’re not important enough to spy on” or “if you have nothing to hide...” should be forewarned that I will dismiss their comments outright. Those are bullshits arguments put forth by morons. Anyone with a clue should know a few interesting things. Everyone is important enough to spy on, not the least reason of which is everyone has something to hide (even if it’s something insignificant) and the U.S. government has proven that they will dig up dirt on anyone and use it against them if they feel they need to (read up on CONINTELPRO for proof of that, and the scary thing is that happened between 1956 and 1971 back before data collection on a massive scale was even remotely achievable, imagine what they could find out now). But an even better rebuttal to those is this piece on Wired by Moxie Marlinspike titled “Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance”.
If there’s someone worth listening to about this subject matter, encryption or mass surveillance, it is definitely Moxie Marlinspike. If you have no idea who he is then I highly recommend reading up on him. He’s one of those people like Phil Zimmermann and Jacob Appelbaum, among a great many others (a huge list of whose names you can see here), who you should listen to when they speak because they’re usually saying something worth paying attention to.
And just to show just how much I care about this kind of thing let the record show that I am someone who used Lavabit (for their encrypted email needs) from inception up until it was shuttered by its founder and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the company and its founder for choosing to shut down the service rather than hand over the keys to the kingdom just because the U.S. government snapped its fingers and said “give it to us”.
I mean what the hell, the service is free and at worst you basically reserve your preferred email address by signing up. I love knowing I’m bangishotyou even on sites I rarely visit. That’s my name, damnit! And no one is going to take it away from me. I’ve even had people on other sites and elsewhere go “hey, are you the same bangishotyou from [insert site here]” and I always laugh and say “indeed I am”. (Am I that all over the place online? That people recognize my username across a variety of sites and know they can just approach me like that? I guess that’s cool in a somewhat geeky way.)
And I apologize for having so many posts going up between yesterday and today (and tomorrow, with the weekly Android related one)! It’s not my fault! There’s just so much “oh, I have to alert everyone to this” going on out of nowhere that I’d prefer not holding off on sharing it because I know I’ll forget to write about it entirely. I’m pretty absent minded at times.