A group of experts from MIT and CERN launched ProtonMail in 2014 and it is the largest email encryption service provider in the world with more than two million users. Activists and journalists who like to keep their information secret usually choose ProtonMail.
Last month, the co-founder of ProtonMail Dr Andy Yen announced that they would start allowing the users to access their mails directly using the Tor network. This move is taken to counteract against the steps taken by the governments around the world to reduce the user’s privacy.
Dr Yen also said that they are proactively working to prevent the inevitable censorship in many countries. Further explaining why they choose Tor, he said, “Tor provides a way to circumvent certain Internet blocks so improving our compatibility with Tor is a natural first step.”
This action sure looks like it is taken in a right direction considering the recent government actions to curb the public’s access to encrypted platforms and secure internet usage. Like the Egyptian government blocked encrypted chat platforms and application Signals and the UK government approved the Investigatory Powers Bill which aims to track the activities of the web browsers.
We should note that ProtonMail consulted Roger Dingledine, the developer and President of Tor Project before they made their onion site. This is why the dependence upon the Tor in security email exchange is not avoidable. With their recent step, the Swiss company is now the world’s largest encrypted service provider offering Tor support.
According to Shari Steele, the executive director of Tor Project, “Tor is an invaluable tool for protecting online freedom and guarding against state surveillance and censorship. We are always glad to see the increased adoption of Tor, and this appears to be a good example of how Tor onion services can be utilised for the public benefit.”
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