Paypal Freezes Proton Mail Campaign Funds

Andy Yen

Share this page

UPDATE 1: 7/1/2014 0900h, Still no response from PayPal, our campaign page can still be viewed here(new window). Credit card and Bitcoin contributions are still possible at this time.

UPDATE 2: 7/1/2014, 1700h, PayPal has let us know that the restrictions on our account have now been lifted and we have been able to extract our funds. Thank you for your support on this matter, it no doubt played a large part in getting PayPal to do the right thing in record time.

This morning, we received an email and telephone call from PayPal notifying us that our account has been restricted pending further review. At this time, it is not possible for Proton Mail to receive or send funds through PayPal. No attempt was made by PayPal to contact us before freezing our account, and no notice was given.

(new window)

Like many others, we have all heard the PayPal horror stories, but didn’t actually think it would happen to us on our campaign since PayPal promised, very recently, to improve their policies(new window). Unfortunately, it seems those were hollow promises as Proton Mail is now the latest in a long string of crowdfunding campaigns to be hit with account freezes. (For examples, just look here(new window), here(new window), and here(new window)).

While the $275,000 Proton Mail has raised in the past 2 weeks is a large amount, it pales in comparison to many other crowdfunding campaigns that have raised sums in excess of $1,000,000 so we can’t help but wonder why Proton Mail was singled out. When we pressed the PayPal representative on the phone for further details, he questioned whether Proton Mail is legal and if we have government approval to encrypt emails. We are not sure which government PayPal is referring to, but even the 4th Amendment of the US constitution guarantees:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures….”

It seems PayPal is trying to come up with ANY excuse they can to prevent us from receiving funds.

(new window)

As a result, we have disabled PayPal as a payment option on our campaign page(new window), but it is still possible contribute with credit card and Bitcoin(new window). Please help us get the word out there as by bringing attention to this issue, we may be able to convince PayPal to do the right thing. And if anybody from PayPal is listening, we’ve emailed and called today, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

To view our Campaign, Click Here(new window)

Protect your privacy with Proton
Get a free account

Share this page

Andy Yen

Andy is the founder and CEO of Proton. He is a long-time advocate for privacy rights and has spoken at TED, Web Summit, and the United Nations about online privacy issues. Previously, Andy was a research scientist at CERN and has a PhD in particle physics from Harvard University.

Related articles

From having too many inboxes to manage to switching to a new email provider, there are many reasons why you’d want to delete your Gmail account. You might even be concerned that Google is abusing your privacy. Thankfully, you can delete your Gmail a
The first month of 2023 has brought brutal layoffs from Big Tech, a potential ban of TikTok in the US, and another Twitter breach. But the biggest development of this new year has to be the ascent of ChatGPT.  The chatbot can produce remarkably huma
Hackers were able to steal account details from over 200 million Twitter users and posted the database on a hacking forum in early January 2023. These details include users’ email addresses and Twitter handles, allowing people to potentially identify
From your online shopping receipts to financial statements, your emails contain a great deal of sensitive information about your life, interests, and daily schedule. If you’re concerned about your online privacy, it’s therefore vital to keep your inb
At Proton, we’re committed to building privacy-focused products that are convenient to use and improve your productivity. Last year, we released the new mobile apps for Proton Calendar and Proton Drive, letting you manage your schedule and upload imp
Most email services aren’t secure and limit attachment file sizes, but there are ways to send large files securely. If you’ve ever tried attaching multiple images or video files to an email, you’ll know that it doesn’t always work. We explain ways t