Our first-ever charity auction has exceeded all expectations, generating over €30,000 for three organizations dedicated to human rights and online privacy.
When we launched our Lifetime Account auction earlier this month, we expected to raise around €3500-5000 from each sale. But when bidding closed today, each auction had far surpassed our target, with all three Lifetime accounts selling for over €10,000. All the funds raised will be used to support three projects that are promoting human rights, democracy, and online security.
When we originally committed to adding extra funds to ensure that each project received at least €10,000, we didn’t anticipate an outcome where each auction reached €10,000 on their own. We remain just as committed to supporting these causes, so we will make an additional donation of €5000 per project, on top of what was raised by the community. Thus, the total amount of money that is being donated is over €45,000.
The fact that each auction was able to raise over €10,000 is a testament to the amazing generosity of the bidders, and what we are able to achieve as a community of millions of users from over 100 countries around the world. Below, are three organizations which will each be receiving at least €15,000 in the coming days.
Charter’97 is the largest independent news outlet in Belarus which has come under attack from the authoritarian government for its fearless reporting. Our funding will help the organization continue to operate in the face of censorship and violent intimidation.
Natalya Radina, the site’s award-winning editor-in-chief, had this message for the ProtonMail community:
Dear friends! We are deeply touched by your support of our website. You encouraged and inspired not only us who work at Charter’97 but also all Belarusians who today fight against tyranny. Solidarity is a powerful force and it is really needed by the people who live under totalitarianism. Belarus will become free, for sure. When it happens, you must remember that you participated in it, that you helped other people on earth gain freedom.
Charter’97 is a member of the ProtonMail community and can be reached at email@example.com
Berlin Scholarship Program
The Berlin Scholarship Program: Empowering Journalists in the Digital Field is a scholarship program, sponsored by Reporters Without Borders and the Berlin Senate, for journalists who operate in dangerous places, such as conflict zones and under repressive governments. The program trains reporters on how to protect their digital security during a fourth-month residence in Berlin. Our funding will support an additional scholarship in 2019. Like Charter’97, Reporters Without Borders Germany uses ProtonMail.
WireGuard® is a next-generation VPN protocol that promises to be simpler, faster, more stable, and potentially more secure than its predecessors, such as IPsec and OpenVPN. Founded in 2015, the project is open source and community supported, receiving funding from individuals, nonprofits, and tech companies. We decided to support WireGuard for two reasons: first, because we plan to eventually support WireGuard in ProtonVPN. And second, we know the importance of supporting open-source security software.
We are grateful to everyone who bid on a ProtonMail Lifetime Account or made separate donations to these organizations (you can find the donation pages of the organizations by following the links above). As Radina said in her note to our community, your support will have a deep and lasting impact.
Congratulations to our three newest Lifetime Account owners! You are joining a very select group of users, and your generous contributions this holiday season make the world a better place. From the ProtonMail team, we wish everybody happy holidays and an even better 2019.
The ProtonMail Team
You can get a free secure email account from ProtonMail here.
We also provide a free VPN service to protect your privacy.