Encrypted email provider Proton Mail launches free VPN service to counter increasing online censorship

Posted on June 20th, 2017 by in Releases, Service Updates.

Proton Mail, the world’s largest encrypted email provider, is announcing today the immediate worldwide release of Proton VPN, an innovative new VPN service built in response to increasing online surveillance and threats to net neutrality.

This is the first new product developed by Swiss security firm Proton AG since the introduction of Proton Mail 3 years ago. Since Proton Mail was first launched in May 2014 by a group of scientists who met at CERN and MIT, the service has become the preferred email provider for millions of people around the world. Users include businesses, individuals, activists and journalists drawn to the service’s strong end-to-end encryption, ease-of-use, and open source software.

The team that created Proton Mail was motivated to create Proton VPN to combat increased threats to online freedom. In the past six months alone, these threats have included the repeal of Obama-era rules designed to protect consumer internet browsing history, calls by Prime Minister Theresa May for increased online surveillance, and the recent attempts by the US FCC to dismantle net neutrality. This is not to mention the over 1.5 billion people around the world who live with censored Internet.

“In the past year, we have seen more and more challenges against Internet freedom,” says Proton Mail Co-Founder Dr. Andy Yen, “now more than ever, we need robust tools for defending privacy, security, and freedom online.”

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows users to browse the web without being tracked, bypass online censorship blocks, and also increases security by passing all internet traffic through a strongly encrypted tunnel. In order to make this technology more accessible, the Company will also provide a free version of the service.

“The best way to ensure that encryption and privacy rights are not encroached upon is to get the tools into the hands of the public as soon as possible and widely distributing them,” says Yen, “This is why, as with Proton Mail, we’re committed to making a free version of Proton VPN available to the world.”

While VPNs have existed for many years, Proton VPN draws upon the Company’s extensive security experience and introduces several important security innovations. Proton VPN features a Secure Core architecture which routes traffic through multiple encrypted tunnels in multiple countries to better defend against network based attacks, and also features seamless integration with the Tor anonymity network.

Proton VPN operates under Swiss jurisdiction and is protected by some of the world’s strongest privacy laws. Proton VPN also stands out for its transparency as it is perhaps the only VPN service on the market today that is developed by a team that is publicly known, with strong security and privacy credentials.

“Strong encryption and privacy are a social and economic necessity. Not only does this technology protect activists and dissidents, it is also key to securing the world’s digital infrastructure,” says Yen, “Encrypted communications is the future and with Proton VPN, we’re committed to making online privacy a reality again for all Internet users.”

About Proton AG

Proton AG is a security company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, near CERN where the founders met in 2013. We are researchers, scientists, and engineers brought together by a shared vision of protecting civil liberties, working to advance Internet security and privacy. Proton AG is a uniquely community-driven company. Initial funding came from an online crowdfunding campaign that raised $550,000 and set a record for a software technology project. Today, the innovative technologies that we are developing, such as Proton Mail and Proton VPN, are used by millions of people around the world.

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Proton was founded by scientists who met at CERN and had the idea that an internet where privacy is the default is essential to preserving freedom. Our team of developers, engineers, and designers from all over the world is working to provide you with secure ways to be in control of your online data.

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