ProtonMail crowdfunds $200K (and counting) to stop NSA snooping


An MIT spinout with an ultra-encrypted email service is seeing big demand in its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

The company, ProtonMail, aims to “protect people around the world from the mass surveillance that is currently being perpetrated by governments and corporations around the world.”

The service has referred to by some as “the only email system the NSA can’t access” (though ProtonMail offers the disclaimer that “it is impossible to have 100% safety”).

Since debuting its Indiegogo campaign last Tuesday with a goal of raising $100,000, ProtonMail has raised $208,000. The campaign ends July 17.

Backers receive access to ProtonMail (some to the current beta version, some when the product comes out of beta).

The service itself is hosted out of Switzerland, taking advantage of the country’s strict privacy laws, and also has its headquarters in the country. But the company, which has a team of seven, typically has two or three people working out of the Cambridge Innovation Center at any given time, said co-founder Andy Yen. ProtonMail is taking part in MassChallenge and may have a larger team in Boston this summer for the program, Yen said.

Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
Follow Kyle on Twitter