Proton Mail adds Facebook PGP integration

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At Proton Mail, privacy is one of our core values. This means more than just building an email service which respects privacy. It means building an entire ecosystem around the idea of privacy being the default online. From the onset, it is clear that this is not something we can do alone. Last summer, over ten thousand of you joined us by donating to our record breaking crowdfunding campaign to get Proton Mail to where we are today.

Together, people around the world have made it clear that online privacy matters, and tech companies are taking notice. Recently, Facebook took a big step forward by supporting PGP in email communications(new window). Today, we’re happy to announce that with Proton Mail version 2.1, we are the first email service to add seamless support for PGP encrypted Facebook emails.

This means that PGP email messages from Facebook will be automatically decrypted by Proton Mail when you open them in both the webmail and mobile apps. Previously, to use Facebook PGP, it was necessary to install PGP, generate keys, and use complicated plugins. Now, securing communications from Facebook is as simple as using your Proton Mail account. No setup and configuration needs to be done on the Proton Mail side, all that is required is importing your Proton Mail public key into Facebook(new window). We hope to work with the Facebook security engineering team in the future to further automate this process.

The PGP support in Proton Mail 2.1 in fact extends beyond Facebook. Any PGP message sent to a Proton Mail account from any email sender, regardless of whether it is PGP/MIME or inline PGP can now be automatically decrypted. This is one of the great benefits of following open standards and this integration is possible because both Proton Mail and Facebook follow the OpenPGP standard. As this was one of the most highly requested features(new window), we’re glad to be able to finally launch this. In the coming months, we will be extending this feature to also allow automatically sending PGP messages outside of Proton Mail.

If we truly want to have a more private and secure internet, working together will be crucial and we applaud Facebook for sticking with open standards. As OpenPGP is universal, in the future, we will also be able to integrate with countless other services. We are glad that giants like Facebook are supporting these efforts and if more companies join in, the movement to improve privacy online will be unstoppable.

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You can find Facebook’s official announcement about this here(new window).

Why should I enable PGP encrypted emails from Facebook?

Facebook notifications can actually contain a lot of sensitive private information. For example, they can contain Facebook password reset links, or details such as who has messaged you on Facebook. While it is certainly true that Facebook has this information, when a notification email is sent, anybody who intercepts your email communications can also gain access to this information (for example, your ISP, your workplace network, or a government agency). Turning on PGP encryption for notification emails from Facebook helps to reduce this risk. Proton Mail is the only email service in the world that provides automatic support for Facebook PGP emails.

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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.

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