We advance society by advancing freedom
Proton provides free and open-source technology to millions of people and organizations to expand access to privacy, security, and freedom online.
Without privacy, there can be no freedom of speech, and without freedom of speech, there can be no democracy. Together with millions of Proton users from around the world, we are working to build a better internet and society.
Direct action for a better world
Each year, we partner with the Proton community to identify and fund important projects that are helping to build the kind of world we want to live in.
We have distributed over $2,000,000 in direct financial grants.
Some of the organizations we have supported are listed below.
Access Now defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world.
Noyb, is a privacy enforcement non-governmental organization founded by privacy activist Max Schrems. Noyb has a team of legal experts who use strategic litigation against corporations’ privacy violations.
The International Federation of Journalists’ Safety Fund is an emergency safety net, providing financial assistance to journalists who face violence, persecution, illness, or exile due to their work.
Privacy International is a UK-based nonprofit that investigates how governments and corporations use technology and demands accountability when they breach the public trust.
GrapheneOS is an Android-based, open-source, privacy and security-focused mobile operating system.
RSF is a non-profit organization that advocates for freedom of the press and the protection of journalists around the world.
EPIC, which stands for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, pursues policy, advocacy, and litigation to tip the scales of power on the internet in favor of the people who use it.
The Tor Project developed onion routing and the Tor Browser to ensure internet users everywhere have private access to an uncensored web.
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.
Fight for the Future channels online outrage into political power by inspiring, organizing, and leading internet protest movements.
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.
Ranking Digital Rights advances corporate accountability for human rights in the digital age.
Women Who Code is working to create a world where women are proportionally represented as technical leaders, executives, founders, venture capitalists, board members, and software engineers.
Qubes OS is a security-focused, free, and open-source Linux distribution for personal computers that allows you to securely compartmentalize your digital life.
The World Wide Web Foundation is an international non-profit organization that fights for a web that is safe, empowering, and for everyone. It was founded by Tim Berners-Lee, a fellow CERN alumnus, and the inventor of the world wide web.
The European Digital Rights network comprises academics, advocates, researchers, and civil rights organizations that fight to protect all Europeans’ digital rights.
350.org is a US-based international nonprofit that uses people power to support renewable energy solutions and turn away from fossil fuels.
NetBlocks is an independent, non-partisan watchdog group that monitors the status of the Internet in countries all around the world and reports any shutdowns or blackouts.
The Thirst Project is a nonprofit organization that dedicates 100% of the donations it receives to drilling wells in remote communities in Eswatini, India, Uganda, El Salvador, and Kenya.
For journalism to effectively function as a check on the abuse of power, it must also evolve. This is the animating idea behind The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom focused on pursuing data-driven news stories.
Violence, intimidation, and exile from Belarus
In 2018 we financed Charter’97, the most popular independent news outlet in Belarus. Editor-in-chief (and Proton user) Natalya Radina has been on the front lines of Belarus's fight for freedom.
For journalists working in war zones or under repressive governments, digital security and privacy can be the difference between life and death
In 2019, we supported Reporters Without Borders’ digital security training program for journalists in the field. Together, we funded scholarships for journalists from conflict zones and repressive regimes. Reporters Without Borders uses Proton Mail for secure communications.
Defending freedom through technology
Proton powers newsrooms and human rights organizations around the world.
In addition to securing the data and communications of some of the world's largest international organizations, we also protect thousands of individual journalists and activists in the field.
Keeping your contacts safe
After working with journalists in the field, we recognized their need for a better way to protect their sources. As a result, we developed the world’s first end-to-end encrypted contacts manager.
Preventing advanced attacks
Powerful adversaries, such as governments, have sophisticated tools for stealing data or breaking into devices. Proton Mail's advanced features like Address Verification offer protection against encryption key tampering, while technologies like AppKey Protection System help keep data secure even if a device is physically stolen.
Defending against censorship
Services like Proton VPN help provide free and uncensored internet to millions of people living under authoritarian regimes worldwide. Whether it’s Belarus, Russia, Turkey, Iran, or countless other places around the world, we open the internet, help shed light on the truth, and provide freedom during the darkest times.
Free and open-source software
We support tens of millions of free Proton accounts in order to provide secure internet services to all, irrespective of one’s ability to pay. Our code and software libraries are open source and freely available, powering thousands of apps around the world that help defend freedom. Simply put, we believe that privacy is a fundamental human right for all.
Standing with our community no matter what
During the 2019 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, many tech companies, including Apple, turned their backs on the demonstrators in order to preserve access to the Chinese market. Proton Mail stepped in and provided free encrypted email services to activists working on the ground.
Amplifying the voice of activists
Former Hong Kong legislator and Proton user Nathan Law describes how freedom and privacy are under attack in Hong Kong.
In 2020, with the help of the Proton community, we raised $100,000 for humanitarian relief for Hong Kong activists who were violently suppressed.
Defending internet access around the world
We utilize our resources and technology to defend an open and uncensored internet.
In 2022, our work was featured on a front page New York Times article, highlighting the challenges and efforts we go through to counteract government censorship, especially in countries like Russia, and ensure our users are still able to access and share information online.
Documenting the fight against online censorship
As governments restrict internet access and stifle freedom of speech, VPNs have become essential tools for people to combat internet censorship.
Starting in 2021, we begun documenting all significant spikes in Proton VPN usage and their connection to major geopolitical events around the world as part of the Proton VPN Observatory project.
Advocacy for privacy worldwide
Access to privacy often depends upon where you live. At Proton, we are committed to defending and promoting the right to privacy around the world.
Through our policy, government affairs and legal teams, we provide testimony and thought leadership to advance regulatory and legislative solutions that protect the Internet and democracy.
We actively participate in policy and regulatory discussions in different countries across the globe.
For example, we contribute to the European and US legislative efforts to promote competition, innovation and secure technologies such as end-to-end encryption which is critical both for privacy and cybersecurity.
Advocating for a fairer internet
Proton is one of the founders and the driving force behind launching the Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets (CDM). The coalition represents 50+ companies from 16 countries as well as the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, a business association made of more than 45,000 digital SMEs.
Engaging with Swiss policymakers
Proton participates in regulatory procedures and fights the application of overreaching regulations in Switzerland.
In 2021, we won an important victory at the Swiss Federal Administrative Court which confirmed that email services cannot be considered telecommunications providers, and consequently are not subject to the data retention requirements of telcos.
Holding Big Tech accountable
Proton engages regularly with US lawmakers and members of Congress on tech policy. We were featured heavily in the first antitrust report of the US Congress and the recent NTIA’s report on competition in the mobile application ecosystem.
Proton has also been an active supporter of the UK’s regulatory and legislative efforts to make the Internet and the mobile ecosystems more open and fair.
Education and training
We believe that knowledge is power. Whether it's publishing articles, sharing knowledge through the Proton community, or holding training sessions, we work continually to empower individuals and businesses worldwide. Some examples of our work in this area include:
Email encryption: A helmet for cyberspace
At the Second Asian Investigative Journalism Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, we organized a training session to educate investigative journalists on how to properly use email encryption to protect their communication privacy while working under repressive governments.
GDPR.EU: The definitive GDPR guide
With the support of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union, Proton is the publisher and maintainer of GDPR.EU, the definitive guide to GDPR compliance that has become an invaluable tool for businesses large and small.
We can’t accomplish our mission without you. There are many ways to get involved with Proton.