We often speak about the Proton community and its impact on Proton’s direction and evolution. However, it may not be clear to everyone exactly who and what is part of it. Today, we want to clarify who makes up the Proton community and thank you for all you have done for us.
We could not have started without the contributors to our record-breaking crowdfunding campaign that raised $500,000 to build the first version of Proton Mail. And even to this very day, we receive incredible support from everyone who gives us feedback on our early access apps, helps with our localization efforts, and participates in our year-end Lifetime Account Charity Fundraiser. The Proton community is responsible for what Proton has become.
Thanks to you, millions of people around the world can protect their privacy.
Who is the Proton community?
The Proton community is made up of everyday people who use Proton Mail(new window), Proton VPN(new window), Proton Calendar(new window), and Proton Drive(new window), as well as volunteers, advocates, testers, journalists, and security experts. But really, at its heart, the Proton community includes everyone who cares about their privacy and the privacy of others.
As an organization that exists to serve our community, we feel it is important that we get your input and make you active participants in the company’s direction. This is why we send out an annual survey to gather your insights and ask you where we should add new VPN servers(new window), what features we should develop(new window), and which organizations we should support.
Everyone who uses Proton
Everyone who chooses to use Proton is choosing privacy. You are choosing to remove your information from the many datasets that slosh around the internet. Not only does this protect your privacy, it protects the privacy of the people most important to you. Simply by choosing to send an end-to-end encrypted email or saving an event in our end-to-end encrypted calendar, you improve everyone’s privacy.
We’re grateful to the many Proton volunteers who offer their time to help us localize Proton products into their native language, moderate our Reddit boards, and contribute to testing all Proton products. Your effort and dedication have made it easier for millions of people worldwide to choose privacy and take back control of their online information.
- Thanks to our localization volunteers, we can now offer privacy to people around the world in 25 different languages.
- Our volunteer Reddit moderators have seen the Proton Mail subreddit(new window) grow to over 83,000 members.
Contributors and bug bounty hunters
All Proton apps are open source, which means anyone can verify that they do what we claim and can contribute to their development. We have received invaluable support from the security contributors to our bug bounty program as they discover and responsibly disclose bugs. Your work has helped the entire Proton community remain secure. We have also received numerous contributions to the open-source encryption libraries we maintain (OpenPGP.js and GopenPGP), making it easier for developers to make secure, privacy-focused apps.
In many ways, Proton is literally built by the community, for the community.
Fighting for the Proton community
The Proton community exists because we all believe that privacy is worth protecting. It is the bedrock of a free and fair society. And a majority of you have made it clear that Proton should fight for privacy beyond just our products.
That’s why we advocate for privacy protections in the tech and regulatory space by engaging with lawmakers in the US, EU, and Switzerland. Recent examples of our work include:
- The Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets(new window), which we co-founded with 50+ other companies to fight for an open, interoperable, and free internet
- A court appeal that prevented the Swiss government from improperly applying telecom regulations (and the increased surveillance requirements that come with them) to email providers
- Our submissions to the US House Committee on the Judiciary as it investigated Big Tech’s illegal anti-competitive practices
These efforts, taken at your direction, will help ensure a more private internet in the future. But most importantly, we make sure our services are available and accessible to all, especially during times of crisis. We offer free versions of all our services so that people can always use Proton, and when governments threaten the Proton community’s rights, we always try to step in and offer support.
One example of how the Proton community has helped protect basic human rights in a time of critical need is in Hong Kong during the 2020 protests. After the Chinese government announced a new law designed to stifle free speech and peaceful protest, we kept our servers available in Hong Kong(new window), and you raised HK$800,000(new window) to support activists and stand for freedom. We are currently working to support people in Ukraine and Russia during the ongoing conflict and ensure they can use our VPN to bypass online censorship and find the truth about the invasion.
We partnered with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in 2021 to ensure that all RSF-affiliated journalists can stay safe when working in dangerous environments and protect freedom of speech where it is threatened. We have also supported the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) safety fund(new window) for journalists facing violence.
And with your help, we’ve supported over a dozen organizations doing good in the world in the past four years by donating over $1 million through our annual Lifetime Charity Fundraiser.
How can I get involved in the Proton community?
Together, we are leading the fight for online privacy. The Proton community’s support, input, and participation make us what we are today. So whether you want to advocate for privacy and freedom around the world, explore privacy issues with Proton, or have an idea for a new product or feature, you are always welcome to add your voice.
The simplest way to support Proton and be a part of the Proton community is to use Proton products yourself and educate those around you to do the same. If you can help someone understand the importance of privacy and what we are fighting for, the easier it will become for everyone to take back control of their data.
Privacy is collective; we all benefit from each other’s privacy, and we all lose when Big Tech and governments know more about us than we know about them. The more people spread the word and expand the privacy movement, the stronger our collective privacy becomes.
If you’d like to be more involved in the Proton community, you can join the Proton translation community, sign up for the Proton beta program, or even look into joining the Proton team(new window).
How we will involve you more in the days ahead
Proton is and always will be a community-first company, and we will never stop fighting and advocating for your rights. The Proton community has grown tremendously from our earliest days, but we still need your feedback and input. As we move forward, we plan on finding new, more efficient ways to communicate with you. This will require streamlined feedback channels directly in our apps, more user research studies to understand your needs, and more community events where we can meet each other.
We’re incredibly excited about what the future will bring for us with you by our side. One last time, thank you.