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

Posted on June 20th, 2017 by in Press.

World’s largest secure email service has launched ProtonVPN for free to protect consumers against mass surveillance, censorship, and other online security threats.

June 20th, 2017
Geneva, Switzerland

ProtonMail, the world’s largest encrypted email provider, is announcing today the immediate worldwide release of ProtonVPN, 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 Technologies AG since the introduction of ProtonMail 3 years ago. Since ProtonMail 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 ProtonMail was motivated to create ProtonVPN 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 ProtonMail 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 ProtonMail, we’re committed to making a free version of ProtonVPN available to the world.”

While VPNs have existed for many years, ProtonVPN draws upon the Company’s extensive security experience and introduces several important security innovations. ProtonVPN 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.

ProtonVPN operates under Swiss jurisdiction and is protected by some of the world’s strongest privacy laws. ProtonVPN 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 ProtonVPN, we’re committed to making online privacy a reality again for all Internet users.”

About Proton Technologies AG

Proton Technologies 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 Technologies 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 ProtonMail and ProtonVPN, are used by millions of people around the world.

For more information, please visit:
https://protonvpn.com/blog/free-vpn-service-launch

Media Inquiries:
media@protonmail.ch

We are the scientists, engineers, and developers who build ProtonMail, the world's largest encrypted email service. We're now building ProtonVPN also to ensure that everybody can have access to free and secure internet.

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6 comments

  1. j

    i accidentally deleted the e mail awarding me a free vpn and requested further instructions more than once after waiting over a month,which was ignored

  2. John

    “This means all your network traffic is encrypted with AES-256, key exchange is done with 2048-bit RSA, and HMAC with SHA256 is used for message authentication.”
    2048-bit RSA doesn’t even provide 128 bits of symmetric (ex.: AES-128) of protection! To have even AES-128 level of security some 4096-bit RSA would be necessary. For the AES-256 level it would be needed 15424-bit RSA… not very handy… or NIST P-521 and use “TLS-ECDHE-ECDSA-WITH-AES256-GCM-SHA384” or “TLS-ECDHE-ECDSA-WITH-AES256-CBC-SHA384”.
    While I don’t like NIST P-256 and NIST P-384 elliptic curves, the NIST P-521 seems ok (http://blog.cr.yp.to/20140323-ecdsa.html « Other standard primes. To be fair I should mention that there’s one standard NIST curve using a nice prime, namely 2521−1;” »).
    You may want to review the encryption used in order to improve the security of the communications to the maximum. OpenVPN 2.4.x or superior seems necessary to support ECDSA properly.

  3. Putin-Huilo

    Че за гандон ты такой, везде спамишь?

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