Encrypted email provider ProtonMail now has an onion address, allowing users to access its service via a direct connection to the Tor anonymizing network — in what it describes as an active measure aimed at defending against state-sponsored censorship.
Users of the Tor browser can now reach ProtonMail directly using its new onion address: https://protonirockerxow.onion.
The startup, which has amassed more than two million users for its e2e encrypted email service so far, launching out of beta just over a year ago, says it’s worried about an increased risk of state-level blocking of pro-privacy tools — pointing to recent moves such as encryption messaging app Signal being blocked in Egypt, and the UK passing expansive surveillance legislation that mandates tracking of web activity and can also require companies to eschew e2e encryption and backdoor products.
The service also saw a bump in sign ups after the election of Donald Trump as US president, last fall — with web users apparently seeking a non-US based secure email provider in light of the incoming commander-in-chief’s expansive digital surveillance powers.
“Even without using Tor, your ProtonMail inbox is still strongly protected with PGP end-to-end encryption, secure authentication (SRP), and optional two-factor authentication. However, ProtonMail definitely has users in sensitive situations where the extra security and anonymity provided by Tor could literally save lives,” according to the ProtonMail web site.
Details may be found at: https://goo.gl/80kPdN.