Clarification regarding ProtonMail, Belarus, and Ryanair flight 4978

Illstration using ProtonMail colors.


On May 26, 2021, an email sent to the Minsk airport was made public by investigative journalists working with dossier.center. The email in question was not leaked or obtained from ProtonMail.

As an encrypted email service, we do not have the ability to decrypt or read user messages. However, the message is readable on the receiving server in Belarus, and that was how a copy was obtained, as evidenced by the screenshots published by journalists. The only email sent to Belarus was published by dossier.center to demonstrate that the “bomb threat” was sent after Ryanair flight 4978 was redirected. It was never published by Proton.

Due to the usage of ProtonMail by Belarusian citizens to protect their privacy, attempts have been made by the Lukashenko government to block access to ProtonMail since summer 2020. We condemn these actions and also the recent actions involving Ryanair flight 4978. We are supporting European authorities in their investigations, as we are legally obligated to do so on the basis of an official request from the Swiss government.

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About the Author

Proton Team

Proton was founded by scientists who met at CERN and had the idea that an internet where privacy is the default is essential to preserving freedom. Our team of developers, engineers, and designers from all over the world is working to provide you with secure ways to be in control of your online data.