Encrypted email, Snowden style


Curious if anyone else has used an end-to-end encrypted email service like ProtonMail and if so, have any thoughts on it? I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on the subject, and there’s really no definitive “yes it’s secure” or “no, it’s shit” answers out there.

Given the digital surveillance world we live in today, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to try and protect your personal (and business) correspondence without worrying about big brother listening in. PGP, Entrust and the like were built exactly for this reason – to protect data while in transit through networks you don’t control.

A little background on ProtonMail if you haven’t heard of it yet, this is from what I’ve cobbled together from their website:

They are based out of Switzerland, claims not to have access to your private key and has what amounts to two-factor authentication because of a login password and mailbox decryption password.

Emails to non-protonmail addresses can be decrypted by the recipients visiting a special URL and entering the message specific password, which allows them to reply up to three times (I think).

Overall, it’s a very nice interface and feature rich. I guess the underlying question is: how secure is your data there. Would you trust it? Send something sensitive to a pal and feel confident that prying eyes can’t get at it?

One thought on “Encrypted email, Snowden style

  1. Sarah and I have been using ProtonMail for a few months. We trust it, or at least we trust it a bit more than Google. Obviously, I’ve never had a chance to test the encryption myself, but the claim that they can’t recover your inbox if you lose your inbox password is accurate, so it seems legit.

    For a more outside perspective, they score well at http://www.prxbx.com/email/

    Beyond that, it’s free, the webmail experience is solid, and there are mobile apps on the way. Plus, the more of us encrypting everything we do online, the larger the herd grows, and the more protection we therefore provide to those whose lives depend on encryption.

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