The Next Version of the Thunderbird Email Program Will Feature Encrypted Messages and Chats

The Mozilla Foundation has announced that a new version of the popular Thunderbird software for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux is in the works. Thunderbird is available free of charge and presently has about 25 million users.

Several new features are planned. Privacy advocates will notice that the next release will include encrypted messages as well as encrypted chat capabilities. The plan is to make encryption in Thunderbird “just work” without expecting users to know how to user or handle certificates, as well as removing technical jargon. They’re also aiming to implement Off-the-record (OTR) messaging for encrypted chat.

You can read more about the planned encryption features and a lot of other planned changes at: http://lists.thunderbird.net/pipermail/maildev_lists.thunderbird.net/2018-October/001317.html.

ProtonMail’s FREE Secure Email Service

Normal email messages are sent in plain text. That means that such messages are easily intercepted and read by hackers, government spies, corporations, and others. Of course, it is easy to block such espionage by using encryption. However, very few email users ever do that.

The lack of email encryption is sad as it is so easy to implement. My belief is that everyone should use encrypted email all the time for all messages. Admittedly, I do not do that myself, at least not yet. But if more people had the capability to send and receive encrypted email, I would use encryption all the time.

If you are willing to use a new email address or perhaps an additional email address that you use only when you want to send and receive private messages, you can find several services to choose from. One of the more popular encrypted email services is ProtonMail, a secure email provider based in Switzerland.

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Encrypted Email Provider ProtonMail’s Service is now backed by a 99.95% Service Level Agreement (SLA)

I have written before about the privacy email features of ProtonMail. (See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+proton+mail&t=h_&ia=web for a list of my past articles.) Now the company that produces ProtonMail has announced it will provide 99.95% uptime or better. 99.95% uptime means the service will be unavailable less than an average of 8 minutes per day.

The new service level agreement (SLA) ensures that if downtime in any calendar month exceeds 0.05%, the company will issue a partial refund to all customers.

The latest ProtonMail announcement may be found at: https://protonmail.com/blog/protonmail-reliability-sla/.

Helm Wants You to Control Your Own Data Again

A new start-up company wants you to host your own (encrypted) email messages, pictures, videos, and more where everything is under your control, not something provided by a privacy-stealing corporation.

Do you use the Gmail or Yahoo or Hotmail email services? If so, a large corporation can access your private messages for any reason at all. Or for no reason at all. The same is true for your photos, videos, contacts list, and calendar.

Your most critical data (like emails, search history, passwords, photos, and videos) is stored on massive corporate servers outside your home. Increasingly, this leaves you vulnerable to hacks, companies profiting from your data and online behavior, and mass government surveillance.

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Denmark Makes Email Encryption Compulsory for Businesses

A win for privacy: Businesses in Denmark must protect sensitive personal data in emails with end-to-end encryption starting January 1, 2019.

Shouldn’t that be a requirement for ALL email, businesses and individuals alike?

Check it out in the TutaNota Blog at https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/denmark-email-encryption-gdpr.

NOTE: TutaNota is a provider of encrypted email so you might think the author is biased. Indeed, I think the article is biased but only biased in favor of improving your privacy. We all should be biased this way!

Why Any Backdoor Would Be a Threat to Online Security

In regular intervals, Politicians demand that companies add backdoors to their end-to-end encrypted cloud services to enable law enforcements to easier persecute criminals. This demand ignores that any backdoor to encryption poses a severe threat to online security in general. An article in the Tutanota Blog explains why a backdoor is – and will always be – a stupid idea.

Check it out at: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/why-a-backdoor-is-a-security-risk.

ProtonMail Hits 5 Million Accounts and Wants Users to Ditch Google by 2021

ProtonMail, the Geneva, Switzerland-based encrypted email service, “wants you to be able to completely de-Google-fy your life,” according to CEO Andy Yen. “Come to ProtonMail, and have all the features, plus the security and the privacy that Google doesn’t provide you. So, that’s our long-term vision.”

ProtonMail is primarily different from your free email — Gmail, Yahoo!, etc. — because it encrypts your message and can’t scrape them for data. That encryption also protects them from being read by third-parties if you send an email from your ProtonMail account to another ProtonMail user. But what about encrypted docs, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations? That’s coming, too, Yen says.

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