World's largest encrypted e-mail provider ProtonMail goes public

Geneva: World's largest encrypted e-mail provider, ProtonMail on Thursday announced that it was going out of beta mode and opening registrations for the public for the first time since it was launched in 2014. Additionally, the company launched free mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms globally.

The announcement comes at a time when Apple has locked horns with the FBI over its encryption policy.

Asserting that the world was in the middle of a 'crypto-war', ProtonMail in a blogpost said that if people around the world don't stand up for privacy now, it will be 'stripped from us'. "The best way to defend our right to privacy is to get the necessary tools out to the general public as quickly as possible, and put the decision into the hands of the people and not governments," it wrote on a blogpost.

ProtonMail was launched in beta mode in May 2014 by a group of scientists who met at CERN and MIT and was originally available via web interface. It has been operating on invite-only basis since its launch and claims a user base of over 1 million.

The company in its blog post added that its end-to-end encrption system made it impossible for governments or ProtonMail itself to gain access to user messages.

"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. This is why all things considered, strong encryption is absolutely necessary for the greater good,” ProtonMail Co-Founder Dr. Andy Yen said.

“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,” Yen added.

News24 Bureau