Why Switzerland? An Analysis of Swiss Privacy Laws

Illustration of Proton and Switzerland

Updated June 6, 2019

We are often asked why ProtonMail is based in Switzerland and whether there are real advantages to being a Swiss company. We believe there are several good reasons to call Switzerland home, and this article explains why.

ProtonMail’s roots are from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, where many of our early team members worked together on particle physics experiments. Thus, ProtonMail was born in Switzerland back in 2014. When we investigated the legal considerations about where to establish our growing service, it became clear that Switzerland was in fact a hospitable location for a tech company focused on privacy.

Unless you host your servers on a boat in international waters, you will need to be under some legal jurisdiction. Choosing one is particularly important because, as the Lavabit example shows, local laws can have an existential impact on the service. Given that we serve users with highly sensitive privacy and security requirements from around the world, Switzerland, being outside of US and EU jurisdiction, has the advantage of being a neutral location.

Switzerland also has a long history of privacy and security, dating back over a century, and its laws are much more protective of individual privacy rights. In the US and EU, gag orders can be issued to prevent an individual from knowing they are being investigated or under surveillance. While these type of orders also exist in Switzerland, the prosecutors have an obligation to notify the target of surveillance, and the target has an opportunity to appeal in court. There are no such things as National Security Letters, and all surveillance requests must go through the courts. Furthermore, while Switzerland is party to international assistance treaties, such requests for information must hold up under Swiss law, which has much stricter privacy provisions.

Nearly every country in the world has laws governing lawful interception of electronic communications for law enforcement purposes. In Switzerland, these regulations are set out in the Swiss Federal Act on the Surveillance of Postal and Telecommunications Traffic (SPTT), which was last revised on March 18, 2018. While parts of the SPTT are still in dispute and subject to various legal challenges within Switzerland (including a challenge from ProtonMail), the present interpretation does not subject ProtonMail to any mandatory data retention directives; nor does it enforce upon us a full obligation to identify ProtonMail users. Moreover, as a Swiss company, ProtonMail also cannot be compelled to engage in bulk surveillance on behalf of US or Swiss intelligence agencies.

While ProtonMail benefits from strong legal protections within Switzerland, we have also built in technological safeguards against surveillance, such as utilizing end-to-end encryption. We do not possess the keys required to decrypt users’ emails. Even emails between non-ProtonMail accounts cannot be decrypted on our servers thanks to our use of zero-access encryption. As a result, even if ProtonMail was forced to turn over all our computer systems, email contents will continue to be encrypted. These technical safeguards are the strongest privacy protections because unlike national laws, the laws of mathematics cannot be changed or altered.

We believe comprehensive security can only be achieved through a combination of technology and legal protections, and Switzerland provides the optimal combination of both. Because of Switzerland’s advanced IT infrastructure and its unique legal environment, ProtonMail can deliver a service that is both reliable and secure.

For more information about Internet surveillance in Switzerland and requests for information made to ProtonMail, please view our Transparency Report.

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.


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190 comments on “Why Switzerland? An Analysis of Swiss Privacy Laws

  • Switzerland may be the best you can do, but in recent decades Switzerland has bent to the will of the American empire. Take bank secrecy, for example. At one time, bank secrecy was very strong in Switzerland. Now, bank secrecy in Switzerland has eroded alarmingly.
    Aside from the purely legal threats that Protonmail faces, you also likely to face attacks based on the U.S. world wide banking hegemony. All sort of businesses that displease the American Empire are being cut off from banking services.

    • The bending of Swiss banks to the US has to be taken in context. Giving up the information of American tax-evaders is one thing, but violating personal privacy rights is a line the Swiss government is much less likely to cross. While the banks had information to give up, ProtonMail doesn’t actually have unencrypted user data to share.

    • There is no real advantage Switzerland has over any one else. We saw what happened with all these wealthy billionaires hiding money in Swiss Bank accounts. Thanks to Mr. Birkenfeld, the IRS now has their asses and UBS is no longer a secret. Nor is any Swiss bank. Once the US gets involved, being as they have the best engineers, the best scientists, it’s over. Protonmail is great in concept, but it’s no safer than anything else out there currently. The Swiss government is corrupt and bankrupt. Way more than the USA’s is. But the advantage the USA has is they have the best everything on their side.

      • Also, the voters of Switzerland don’t generally vote the best people into office. Nor do we, but having been there many times, you’d be disgusted at their “democracy”

        • Swiss direct democracy does have its downsides, in the years we have lived there, we have seen some pretty terrible measures passed via referendum. However, none of them have involved compromising privacy.

        • @Roy

          You said:
          ” The Swiss government is corrupt and bankrupt. ”

          Wrong, check out the results of any reasearch study or key figures. we are one of the uncorupptest countries. (place 5 or 7 of all the countries, so quite nice)

          what a complete crap! we stand there as sweden, one of the few countries which has much less than 40% dept / citizen. (check out the International Monetary Funds, Eurostat, whatsoever).

          As far is i know the USA has around 100%, Itally around 130%, Germany, 84%, etc…

          “More swiss government is more corrupt than the US government. ”
          Sorry guy thats simple not true.

          – we are not stealing data of the whole world.
          – we are not surveilling our citzitens without court order (and trial… )
          – we are not allowed to go on war. (we can only defend ourselves)
          – we are free people because we pay taxes freely (only valid now for swiss people, not foreigners!!)
          – we have huge problems because of our success. One problem is the huge amout of immigration which destroys our free, green, nice landscape or architecture-style (we do not want to build 1000 m hight – this is tokio or new york style ! (Also very nice, since i was in N.Y and liked it, but not the way i want to have it at home!)

          So, have a nice day, Ciao!

          • good lines, but don’t do the “immigrants are the culprit” crap.
            You are wrong on that, *but* the line with the success holds monetary wise. Since Switzerland is balanced and stable, everybody is buying Franken.

            But this also has a downside, as you can see in the next weeks, if the Franken won’t get weaker.

          • You seem to like to try and tear a person down but if you are going to do so and in english at that, please try to spell correctly. There is a thing called school ya know and if that has failed you then there is always spell check. For one ‘uncorupptest’ isn’t even a word, nor is dept, Italy has one L in it not two, and what a is a ‘citzitens’? Don’t cast all the blame on others and act like your country is so hugely greater than what it really is. You are just pointing out what worthless scum you are. :D (Not to mention badly educated.)

      • No idea where you got those weird information from, Switzerland has half as much debts per person than the US and regarding to transparency international on 7. place of the Corruption Index 2013. The US on 19. place.
        Get over this ‘we are the best in the world in everything’ attitude, it’s childish.

      • You should have settled down in Nepal , where there no IT Law which can be implemented besides facebook.

        • monks in Nepal use Internet and write wikipedia… para todo el mundo … para universe

      • I don’t think you know how Protonmail works. Even if they are ordered by the Swiss Government to give up information. They have very limited information to release. Besides a username and your login password (not your email password). Good luck to the US retrieving anything else. I think you have been watching to many American spy movies.

        • “Besides a username and your login password”

          If done properly they would not have your login password, as the login password should be stored in form of a salted hash and not in plaintext. If anything they could reset your password but you would then notice when your password does not work.

      • “Once the US gets involved, being as they have the best engineers, the best scientists, it’s over.”

        You need to cancel your subscription to ignorance. There is NO monopoly on intelligence. The US is the second most ignorant country in the developed world. Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2014/10/29/most-ignorant-countries-revealed-in-new-poll.html

        Most medications are developed and manufactured overseas, so forget the scientist bit as being the best in America. Healthcare? The US comes in a paltry 37th place. Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-healthcare-systems-in-the-world-2012-6?IR=T

        If you want to know where “America” ranks. Go here: https://rankingamerica.wordpress.com/

        If you want to laugh at America, go here: http://thedailybanter.com/2012/08/american-exceptionalism-my-ass/

        • lol you made me laugh… I think he meant the #1 country with the largest dumbass population governed by the most intellingent elite. He was wrong anyway, because the largest dumbass population with the absolute most intelligent elite, is China.

      • Roy, you’ve said “Protonmail is great in concept, but it’s no safer than anything else out there currently.” I disagree.

        Previously I would recommend tech savvy people use a mail client with PGP support from a live distro. You can also host your own email server and use a local webapp client for encryption support (Mailpile is one option). This isn’t exactly easy or feasible for most people. I’ve been doing stuff like this for years, but what good is it if the rest of the world isn’t? Proton Mail is the next best thing and something that nearly anyone can use. I can recommend it to anyone currently using Gmail and be confident that they can make the switch.

        Until very recently, encryption was mostly the purview of people in academia, intelligence, and tech. We can invent the most safe and secure platforms in the lab, but that doesn’t help much if no one is willing or able to use them. We’ve had the technological means for a long time… It is usability and widespread awareness that has been missing. This is what Proton Mail brings to the space. This is how they are changing things and making email a safer place.

        Let’s just imagine a terrible scenario, and say Proton Mail is an NSA startup (this wouldn’t be without precedent). As terrible as this would be (particularly if it was discovered), it is still a vast improvement in privacy for most people. We’d see wider adoption of PGP, greater demand/acceptance of encrypted email, and you’d be protected from a whole host of other threats that you weren’t earlier.

      • Gee, Roy: No ‘USA, USA!’ jingoism there……on what basis are you saying the Swiss gov’t as ‘ corrupt and bankrupt’? Care to cite some actual evidence for your accusation?

        As far as the ‘we (the US) have the best of everything’ remark, that just sound like more ‘Ugly Americanism.’ If you like ProtonMail, then use it. If you don’t then don’t use it and keep your jingoistic comments to yourself. It’s because of jerks like you that people hate Americans.


        A fellow American

    • Ah not necessarily the US my friend…BANKERS are the ones who control the world NOT Governments! Governments are merely the pawns of the BANKERS! Being an ex-banker from “back in the day”, I’ve seen it in action! Don’t be so quick to condemn the Swiss…They still are our last refuge.

      • And Iceland is not so bad; they booted out their bankers and politicians with pots and pans! :) I see that Russia is cleaning up some of its mess by booting out the predator IMF.

        • “I see that Russia is cleaning up some of its mess by booting out the predator IMF”
          are kidding?))) ruSSia its big desolate hole!

      • I am not an expert on banking history.

        Here is one point. There are a few Italian banks that have gone bankrupt because they loaned money to Kings.


  • Please explain all encryption used to protect login password and if that password remains encrypted on your servers or is destroyed…

    • We only have a salted hash of your login password on our servers. The login password needs to come to the server in some form, there’s no other way to authenticate the account.

      • Actually, there might be an even safer authentication process to be found, maybe through Zero-knowledge proof of password, or at least any form of strong cryptographic auth challenge to avoid the sending of a password or any other secret over the network (we should not fully rely on SSL), don’t you think? Anyhow, kudos for your work! :-)

      • Actually that is changing with agron2 (obviously not tested enough yet) but something to definitely take a look at in the near future. Argon2 has been memory hardened meaning that it is “never” going to be easier on a gpu than a cpu as some of the older hashes have issues with…

    • Seriously?? why not just say make the whole thing Open Source??? Seriously you ask that kind of question???

  • As a former Lavabit user I applaud you in your attempt to provide a service that exceeds lavabits level of protection. I look forward to using your product that will help my personal business grow in a safe and secure manner.

  • I am based in Mumbai (India) i want to know how do i use yourservice?

    Since this is a new concept like to know if you are planning to have any distrbutorship out of Switzerland?

  • Is Protonmail purely web based or is it possible to configure MS Outlook or other email client to be able to use it?

  • I think instead of criticizing the ProtonMail team, people should enjoy the hard work they’re putting in. Not everyone is capable of doing as clean and clever a job as they do. They really put their hearts into it, and I really cant wait to see my invite pop in my inbox. As a matter of fact, I verify my inbox practically all the time all day long on all my devices no matter where I am. I can’t wait to have my ProtonMail account! I trust you guys to do the right job! Go, guys, go!

    • Can I get an AMEN! Yes, you are very right! Anyone with any kind of coding background should be in AWE of these guys! SHOUT THEIR PRAISES FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS because they are doing something more than merely TALKING about it!

        • Agree. Just got my ProtonMail account setup and very happy about it. Inviting my friends to create themselves a ProtonMail account. Love the work of all those who created ProtonMail. :)

  • Very happy to have my protonmail account active, there is trust and there is floss, how much of the code will eventually be floss?

  • No one has mentioned what a great message this sends to Yahoo and Google, perhaps in the future they will think twice about compromising our privacy when their accounts take flight and move to Switzerland. I’m a Swiss/American and I’m familiar with the downside of both countries. I’d trust the Swiss to look out for personal privacy before I’d trust the US.
    Thanks for your contribution to making our lives safer ProtonMail.

  • This new improved encryption software program is a needed improvement over existing encryption methods. Just to let you know that some computers (HP and maybe others) have had hardware level keystroke loggers built-in for the past several years that are not detectable. With HP back in the Windows XP days, it was done with a plastic DIP IC hardwired between the keyboard and mainboard and had heat-shrink sleeving over it. Now, it may be directly on the main board…a detailed technical analysis would be needed for verification.

    Now, there is a new problem that directly affects microprocessors. The following article title should get your attention.
    Title: “BEWARE – Got an Intel Centrino or newer processor? Such as an i3 this would include the Centrino, Core2, All ‘i series’ processors, all Atom series processors, all Celeron series and Pentium processors released after the Intel Core2 series.”

    About six months ago (November 2013), someone who claimed to work for military intelligence contacted me through one of the unlisted mail boxes. He said that all Wi-Fi, and all broadband modems, in fact all Internet connected devices have two simultaneous log ins afforded by two separate hardware paths built right into all Internet capable hardware, one that the user sees, and one that remains perfectly hidden and cannot be found by any software or anything else, that logs into a different network on the same Internet and simultaneously sends everything you do straight to the NSA. It’s a hardware level hack that operates completely independent of software and remains completely isolated from it. This man also had something else to say:

    He stated that every Intel processor since the Centrino processor, (this would include the Centrino, Core2, All I series processors, all Atom processors and all Celerons and Pentiums released after the Core2 series) have a separate – on die central processor the user never sees that has the specific job of snagging all encryption keys and keeping a permanent back door to the main processor open to the NSA no matter what the user does to protect data.

    Now, obviously absent a military intelligence tip you won’t get information on this topic, but there are ways to get hints at whether or not what this man said was true. For example, The Centrino and subsequent Pentium M series processors were designed entirely in Israel and if you think a Jewish nation has any respect for Goy data, other than what they can glean from it, go ahead and keep buying “Intel”. Centrino technology was subsequently integrated into Core2 and after that all I series Intel processors.

    The full article text is on the website below.

    • I strongly object to the use of “goy” to mean non-Jew. It’s an insulting word, with just a whiff of anti-Semitism hanging about the user. Yes, I’m Jewish. It’s an insulting word I would never use.

  • What if a smartphone manufacturer were to see all your keystrokes anyway? Most smartphone keyboards nowadays come built in with cloud-syncing, personalized suggestions / dictionaries. Not sure I feel safe entering my passwords on a smartphone. What if that were to happen for Desktop browsers too?

    • With open source browsers that will be detected faster than closed source ones. Same goes with operating systems.

      There are “Msg/month”. Is that going to increase after beta or is it just beta stuff?

      • The monthly message limit was just increased to 1000/month. We may increase this further, right now it is set to avoid people using ProtonMail to send spam.

  • Thank you Protonmail team, for your effort in tying to make our life a little more safe and private. Just a word of advise if I may. Each of you, watch your back. There are no limit to what governments are ready to pull as retaliations. Freedom is just an illusion. Slavery is on the rise.

  • This provides an extra measure of security between essentially warrant less data collection and the end user. By forcing the DoJ to operate through Swiss courts, it ensures that investigations are in fact legitimate and are not simply broad, sweeping investigations of anyone and everyone, which can most certainly include political dissidents, in essence helping to secure democracy against the agitations of the 21st century.

  • I don’t buy this quoted (fine) difference between internet service provider and internet application provider as having any legal basis.

    The document TR_TS_v3_1_20121109 “Guidelines for Lawful Interception of Telecommunication Traffic” do not deal with such semantic differences and hence all LI rules/laws apply too to Protonmail..

    To be honest, I don’t think the people who originally formulated the law would have been able to understand the difference and couldn’t care less anyway.

  • A further clarification of Protonmail’s obligation is provided in “Guide to the “Registration Form for Providing
    Telecommunications Services”

    which states that:
    2 Obligation to register
    The principles of a telecommunications service provider’s obligation to register are regulated in Art. 4 of
    the Telecommunication Act (TCA):
    Art. 4 Obligation to register
    *Anyone providing a telecommunications service must report this to the Federal Office of Communications
    (OFCOM). ”

    And if you read the definition of TSP you will see that Protonmail fulfills the 3 criteria :

    1) “transmission using telecommunication”
    2) “of information”
    3) “for third parties”



    I agree that protonmail does not provide internet access (but this is simply categorising your type of business, is not a determinant as to whether you are covered by this legislation or not..) as defined in Section 3 “Registering telecommunications services” , but this is covered by inclusion in Question 5 “Other Services”.(catchall bucket..)

    Hence, seems to me, Protonmail is covered by Lawful Interception in Swiss legislation.. Unfortunately.

  • Heard bad news about bank secrecy in Switzerland, but based in Switzerland is much much much better option rather in USA for privacy. :)

  • encrypted mail (end to end) is great. i trust in a swiss based provider more than most others freely available this days. unfortunately most other encrypted, anonymous and free providers are gone this days (or you get very techy and out of the box). proton’s offer sounds pretty good. proton with independently encrypted (pgp for example) mails in top of it (double encrypted!?) should surely do the job for the near future. it is not about what i send to somebody (99% of the time), it is about the fact to cause maximum problems to ANYBODY reading my ‘good morning mom and happy birthday’ mail!!! my mail is my mail! my phone call is my phone call – therefore RedPhone or Signal for calls on cell, pgp on every email + protonmail etc. as long as it is email! encrypt, double-, triple encrypt. trust nobody (but your friends – and even them not always). sounds paranoid? it is! so is your government!

  • Dear protonmail!

    I would like to ask . In the nearly future will be audited this project? 

    And all of us have to big thanks to help us keep the privacy.

    God give you power to keep this project alive!

    • Thank you for the support! We regularly do tests and ask for help with auditing our server architecture. We plan to open source ProtonMail at some point in the future!

  • Hi, Knowledge base does not tell me anything about “Encrypt for Outside Users” sounds important but in Safari there is no other info. This is a great service but be even greater with a guide to this and a few other bits of assumed knowledge. Also wonder how you pay the wages? I see crowd funding and the venture capital news but not sure of the business model. The TED TALK was awesome …. Thanks JY

    Just found https://protonmail.com/support This does have the info – thanks – all makes sense now. But before I found “blog” Knowledge Base https://protonmail.com/blog/category/knowledge-base/ Perhaps a clearer link to the real Knowledge Base might help?

  • It makes me happy seeing that there are other people really concern about privacy and doing something about it. Great work guys!

  • Why double encryption is used ? (i.e. first encryption by user & other one is by secure storage).
    What advantages are you getting/what threats are addressed by the doing two times encryption.
    If i understood correctly the keys used for secure storage of user encrypted data will be with service provider and email are encrypted with user passphrase.

  • Dear Team,

    I don’t want to see a spam in my mail box in the coming future, I hope you will maintain those kind of technical standards, keep working hard, all the best.

    Thank you.

  • It is wonderful to see how many pro U.S. comments about the Swiss based email provider. It shows you have a problem. If you think, Switzerland is as U.S., go back to Yahoo and Google and do not mix crime and privacy.


  • I am not a professional. However My understanding is ‘Nothing Humans makes is safe for Humans’. Comments pls

    • Perhaps you are right about cracking crypto by humans ,but be positive and don`t get lazy.
      And do the most you can do ,to make your info as save as possible;a Little paranoia,on this subject is healthy,i think.

  • Cant stop to say I love u protonmail!

    Plz dont leave gov eyesdroping on us. A paranoid mode 2FA I would use.

  • Wie ist bewertet ihr die Sicherheit eures Dienstes vor dem Hintergrund der aktuellen Gesetzgebung zur Überwachung, Randdatenspeicherung, “Staatstrojanern”, etc. in der Schweiz? Ich bitte um eine Stellungnahme. Vielen Dank.

  • so when someone is harassing you while using ProtonMail, we can’t do anything, is that it?

  • With the vote on 25 september 2016 of the Federal Act on the Intelligence Service (Intelligence Service Act, ISA) https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/votes/20160925/intelligence-service-act.html and the non-completion of the referendum against the Surveillance of Postal and Telecommunications Traffic (SPTT) (BUEPF in german ; LSCPT in french) https://www.lscpt.ch/ I think this article must be updated.

    What is the consequences of these laws for protonmail ?

    thx for your answer

  • “Unless you host your servers on a boat in international waters, you will need to be under some legal jurisdiction…”

    Ever if you are in International waters you still are under the legal jurisdiction of the flag of the country you make the registry of your boat/ship, unless you do not have a flag/registry, what is illegal and means that ANYONE can rush you.

    Please correct it!

  • Dear ProtonMail:

    Thank you for all the hard work you have put into this. Some of us *really* appreciate what you have done. Unfortunately, like elsewhere on the Internet, this page has become a magnet for ignorant trolls who just want to spout off their jingoistic/nationalistic nonsense about their country vs Switzerland.

    Will all due respect, I suggest you CLOSE THE COMMENTS SECTION.

    Just my two cents.

  • If the privacy laws were actually secure in Switzerland, you would find a lot more servers in Switzerland. Look for yourself where the mulitnational server farms are located.

  • if i have a protonmail account, would my mail recipient need one also to be able to read my message, Would mail to me from any one without an account be encripted.

  • I applaud your service and choice of Switzerland. However, I mean, all a user has to do is download gpg (open source), encrypt message on an old air-gapped computer using receiver public key, copy over encrypted text to connected computer and send via any email medium (gmail, outlook, all the known NSA puppets).

    At that point it really doesn’t matter where the message finally sits – it is, well and truly, end-to-end encrypted.

    Headers are going to be captured regardless.

  • Hi
    Reading your comments I have the impression that you are angry with ProtonMail team, come on boys!, try to be more constructive you all please. Privacy is the subjet to improve as much as possible, so, my congratulations to ProtonMail team for his job.

  • But log data such ip adress and user device information is saved in protonmail server or other system (not ISP) !!

  • The law in Switzerland about online privacy has recently changed. What does that mean for proton users?

  • Can you really believe these guys? Lol, having fun ‘secretly’ building user base? Specializing on collecting and centralizing invididuals’ sensitive information in one database must be fun, especially collecting those who want to get away from prying eyes in the first place.

  • Sirs,

    Thank you for acknowledging the need for confidentiality and respect for the individuals right to privacy. Thank you a most excellent service, and I am certain that it is deeply appreciated by many honest people throughout the world.
    The qualifications of your Team are impressive, and their dedication to their profession unquestioned.
    The Service you offer is second to none, and of an ultimate professional standard. I thank you for the third time. C.

  • From 20 years I ask each day to help me bank and till today is all peoples drive me crasy I can or not trust & trust or not trust trust is terrible peoples has never seriouse with me last week I ask Germany after American Bank then China now Swiss how I need to be ?after to much distrust is not possible to trust I my self now in my phone I nothing what kind of peoples are this google orange and all other comminication s till when they never stop I can t any more I need to delkete al and to renew all prograns is just dizzy CAN PEOPLES INDERSTAND ONES ???I NEDD NEW EMAIL I NEED NEW NAME I NEED TO CHANGE ALL IS NOT FUNY AT ALL WHEN PEOPLES PLAY WITH ME HOW MANY YEARS TO HAVE PATIENCE 20has not enough ?IF I AM NICE PERSON IF I DON T KNOW HOW TO BE TO BE OK IF I AM HONEST WHY I NEED TO CHANGE MY NAME WHY I NEED TO HIDE OF HO? Can peoples be seriouse one PLEASE? Thank

  • Thank you folks.
    I shall contribute funds as I become able to in the future.

  • If I use ProtonMail, will my contacts list on ProtonMail be encrypted on your servers as well?

  • I tried to put in my own domain it will not let me and I said I could I thought that was what I could do can I or can’t I I need nothing to question number one question number two what if my email or to get hacked and password gets hacked that’s my only worry I have Gmail now and I lose it my password at least once a week that they just get stolen and it’s so unsecured I’ve lost so much information and pictures and is unbelievable so these are my only two questions and I’ll be awaiting your reply before I actually can have an email address

  • Great to know there is one country left that STILL VALUES SIMPLE PRIVACY for the individual,,,,on your (OUR) side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I would like to purchase an email but when I set up my free email, I could not get my contacts to transfer. I sent you a message asking for help and three weeks later, I still have not heard from anyone. I would purchase if I could get my contacts from Yahoo.

  • Hi,
    My e-mail client ‘Thunderbird’ just will not recognise my User-name or Password for my account sydmartin@protonmail.com.
    Does Protonmail have their own e-mail client? and if so How do I download and install it please? I am using Linux Mint 18.2

    This problem occurred when I first signed up so I have been unable to my account

    Is my problem associated with my lack of a website?


    Syd Martin

  • I emailed security I have. A cyber stalker for last year. ALL MY important stuff was on anjanme17 well it was broken into. Well NOW Anja1 is gone.
    I guess your not safe as you think.
    Melanie Monahan

  • An Excellent Work Done by Protonmail Team….Security and Privacy is the most vital things in today’s world.
    Alongwith that what made me crazy is the fact that it is totally FREE and with NO ADVERTISEMENT.

    Protonmail is a Must for everyone on the planet….I wish I had knew it before now….

    Wishing all the Protonmail Team members a great time ahead and Keep up the great work is a must for you.

  • I had an account … until someone (likely a family member) botched it up with vicious mail.
    It must appear to have been sent from my computer but I did NOT prepare any threatening, ugly mail.
    I need to use it for business reasons.

    Please help me resolve this issue. Facebook is how I learned of this activity.

  • If I send email from Proton to any other email account, such as Gmail, can Google intercept and decode that email or, is it not possible for them to read it?

  • God Bless You. Again, and again …
    This is exactly what we need, and we are not criminals.
    Thank you, many times over.


    User …

  • Regardless of human shortcomings, in the form of politicians or Corporate entities, Protonmail simply does not store personal info, or request a cascade of personal info, unlike Google and its equals. Therefore, regardless of the politics of Switcherland( intentional) this fact provides us with the best alternative to Googleland email. Coupled with NordVPN and a secured browser(DuckDuck Go etc), getting rid of faceache and all those other needless apps. I wondered, of those who chose to challenge Protonmail still use facache, instagram etc etc. and fail to secure with tight passwords !?

  • someone form an email account wingineer@protonmail.com has sent me and many friends and associates very scary comments and accusations. we are all a bit unnerved Can you help. I believe they did it because this site is encrypted.

  • This is so brilliant that I’m actually going to upgrade! Paying for email isn’t something I ever expected to do, but this is such a must have in the 21st century; I will stop using my gmail without question while migrating & transcending to ProtonMail, never again to trust the antipodes of privacy… good riddance to gmail.

  • To: Proton Mail Team,
    As a new Proton Mail user, I am confused as to when my text when composing an email gets encrypted. Is it when I open Proton Mail and begin composing, or when I actually send the message? Would I be best off composing my email on a disconnected device and copying it along with attachments into a Proton Mail email?
    Please pardon my lack of understanding as I am self-taught.

  • Switzerland is the 1st world of 1st world! That is a fact!!
    I’m a brazilian, system admin ( networking and security) and trying to open my mind and breaking the chains of a stable life that i have nowdays, to send a CV to ProtonMail and change my life and amplify mine knowledge in IT.

    Keep the internet secure, love you guys!

  • The thing to remember about protecting your privacy is that the more private you want to be, the more expensive it becomes. Encrypted email is a big problem for overseas intelligence agencies. The NSA actually gave up trying to crack https email. So their solution is to hoover up all email messages going over the internet and creating the worlds biggest server farm to do that in the US state of Utah. They hope that one day they will have the technology to decrypt it all. But there is so much data that it will be an impossibility.
    The weakness of contemporary intelligence gathering is that human intelligence has given way to electronic methods. This is good for the person who needs absolute privacy. Just stay away from the internet completely and that also means mobile communications. Do you have some important information to send to someone? Send it through the post to a post office box where the recipient has the key. Want to go more covert, send it by private courier who never loses possession of the package. Thats also a bit expensive.
    If you still want privacy using email then this system is as good as it gets. And this is not a paid comment. Its the truth. But please bare in mind that the most insecure communications are with your mobile phone. You don’t even get protection by switching it off, nor by removing the battery. It is also worth remembering that even using a public phone is not secure. Authorities already have your voice print in a database and the NSA and GCHQ computers can pick it up about as fast as a search made in Google on any comms voice network.

    • We cannot comment on other providers but we can inform you that ProtonMail is end-to-end encrypted email service. This means even we cannot decrypt and read your emails. As a result, your encrypted emails cannot be shared with third parties. Also, no personal information is required to create your secure email account. By default, we do not keep any IP logs which can be linked to your anonymous email account. Our code is open source. https://protonmail.com/security-details

  • I’m just learning but am impressed. Being 76 years old & a Brain Injury victim makes it difficult relearning this technology but fortunately I am able to relearn, just short term memory problem. My son told me about protonmail & I like it, just having problems figuring out how to set up several email accounts. I think Google works hard to cause problems because they obviously work underhanded. This is a learning process. Thank you.

  • Greetings!
    I am an old user, I am happy to use your system if you have collected too many letters, deleted them, let me go, but now you have blocked them despite deleting all the letters. I am a poor Hungarian retired electric engineer I can’t pay – although the prices seem to be small here, they are serious money. Is there a way to continue using the account for free? For example, if I cancel my account and reopen under the same name, what happens? Unfortunately, I provided this email address in important places, and I would like to continue using it.
    Waiting for your reply with thanks:
    József Murányi

  • Without using a data key for end to end encryption, and just using Proton mail as I would a regular email account, to send emails to potential employers, is Proton Mail more secure than regular email from hackers that want to hack into your servers, just so they can read my email? And if so, what are you doing to accomplish this?

  • This sounds really good. I will be moving to a new location about 290 km from my present location. The office will be about 225 km from here. We will subscribe to the best service Protonmail has when we move.
    Our intent is to use secure cell phones then, as well.
    According to the information I read concerning German internet services having a back door in them, I presume that also applies to secure German cell phones as well. If this is not correct please advise.
    Thank you

  • j’ai du faire une erreur lors de la création de mon compte ptoton, maintenant le msg indique que je suis joignable sur l’adresse de mon fils j.caradec@proton et non pas jb.caradec@proton et ne sais pas récupérer cette erreur
    please help me

  • Question…
    I am all about privacy. If I were to join ProtonMail and add an addition layer of email protection by paying more, can I receive help in tracking any harassing email from a stalker using a provider such as Yahoo to send harassing emails?

    Thanks for your time.

    • You will not receive assistance from ProtonMail to identify that stalker in such a case. Indeed, this process would have to be performed either directly to Yahoo’s anti-abuse department or your local authorities. They very often require a personal component so it would appear dubious that ProtonMail would have any real value to offer in this context, as the address in question would not be a ProtonMail address.

  • “Bulk surveillance” is one of the instruments of the American Empire used to suppress EU laws governing privacy and freedom of speech, the perverse logic holding the “security” of American military personnel as not only being above these laws, but given license to obstruct or otherwise trespass them. While it is heartening to use Protonmail for personal and professional communication, it is hoped sincerely that more means will be used to strengthen security against American intelligence interests — bolstering canary defenses, building more firewalls with which to defend users´ right to communicate across open frontiers.

  • Just curious Cort order from Geneva court could be filed and from out of your country? Or you must present in person at that moment?

    • You don’t have to necessarily be physically present in Switzerland to file a criminal complaint. However, the offense must have a territorial link with Switzerland for the authorities to declare themselves competent. Alternatively, a complaint can be filed by your local authorities and data requested through international mutual legal assistance.

  • well…. the point is… If you can spell or pronounce english words correctly, I guess u have a full right to invade other countries as well. No mater why. You will make a reason as soon as u need it. like porsche :)

  • Hello, I wonder if you wound take the time to answer a question for me .
    I want to use my e-mail for some small business items but mainly for personal daily responses.
    How does your law and technique compare in paid email prescription to let say / Startpage Mail?

    Thank you.

  • Thanks for the informative text, I would like to implement the same privacy laws existing for swiss residents in my home country Nigeria.

  • Newbie here and a couple of questions:

    How do mutual legal assistance treaties play into this? I’m not talking privacy protection here in terms of data at rest/in-transit, I’m speaking to the legal requirement to exchange data which exists outside the scope of privacy, between Switzerland and the USA, for example.

    I’m also curious about the term ‘end-to-end’ encryption – is this strictly the connection, or is the content of a message also encrypted such that once it is delivered to a Gmail account – and now at rest on their servers – the message must then be decrypted?

    Thank you.

    • For requests for assistance must be approved by Swiss authorities, and we must receive a valid legal order before we will turn over any user data to anyone. As for end-to-end encryption, this only applies to messages between ProtonMail accounts or using our encrypt-to-outside feature. Messages from ProtonMail to Gmail, for example, are only TLS encrypted in transit and can be read by Google on their servers (but not by ProtonMail because of our zero-access encryption at rest).

  • Is it possible for ProtonMail to provide and synchronize emails for people who have more that 1 computer? If so, how is this done?

    In other words, what specifies and/or connects ProtonMail to any specific computer and/or computers?

    If I create an email, I want to be able to read and/or respond to this email on all of my computers.

    Richard A.. Landkamer

    • With ProtonMail, your mailbox is synced no matter how you access your account. Just log in to your account on any browser on any device or one of our mobile apps.

  • Someone forged my email address and sent spam. If you receive a complaint, will my mailbox be stopped. The mailbox is encrypted. You can’t see the information inside. How to judge whether to send spam?

  • Can Protonmail be set to only exchange email with other Protonmail accounts, so that it will reject email from any other kind of account?

    Thank you for this, you are doing the world a great service.

    • That is not a feature that we offer at the moment, but it is an interesting idea. Thanks!

  • Can I send an email from a Proton account to a regular Email address without the receiver being able to discover my details ? I primarily need an account to be a whistle blower for an incident at work.

  • Dear Sir

    Having read some of site I just have one concern if i send an email to some one that dose not have Proton mail will they be able to read it ?

  • If China uses protonmail and is investigated by the police after violating Chinese laws, will the email data be handed over to the Chinese government?

    • ProtonMail will not turn over email data to the Chinese government unless we are ordered to do so by the Swiss authorities. And even then, we may choose to fight the case in court considering China’s record. Also, the contents of ProtonMail emails are encrypted such that only the sender and recipient can access them. Therefore, it is highly unlikely the Chinese government could access a ProtonMail user’s email data via legal means. Please read our threat model for more information: https://protonmail.com/blog/protonmail-threat-model/

  • excelente lo mejor que he visto en mi vida maxima seguiridad ecriptada de correo felicitaciones a los cientificos desarrolladores que hicieron posible esta para expandirlo a nivel mundial que dios siempre lo llenes de muchas bendiciones saludos.

    • Hi Gordon. ProtonMail does not record the IP address of senders, so we have no idea of our users’ location.