The year is coming to a close, and we are approaching the time when we would traditionally hold a fundraiser to support organizations working to protect privacy and freedom of speech. However, this year we decided to be more ambitious. In addition to raising funds through our Lifetime Charity Fundraiser, we want to go further and lend our expertise and support to an organization to truly maximize the impact we can have.
That is why we are excited to announce we will partner with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) throughout 2022 to help train, equip, and protect the journalists around the world whose work is essential to uncovering wrongdoing and reporting the truth.
Proton stands with journalists everywhere
Two factors drove our decision to partner with RSF. First, we believe the freedom of the press is critical to having a society that can make informed decisions. In short, the freedom of the press lets you verify that your other freedoms haven’t been violated.
Today, independent journalism is under attack in a way it hasn’t been before. Governments all over the world are using censorship and intimidation to shut down dissent and we all have a responsibility to defend these vital freedoms. RSF’s mission to support journalists in providing free access to accurate information to everyone is absolutely essential.
For Proton, empowering reporters with the security, privacy, and freedom to do their work online has always been a guiding principle in the development of our suite of encrypted products.
Second, RSF has an impeccable reputation, and we have worked with the RSF team in the past, so we know our funds and support will have a significant and durable impact. In our previous project, we donated funds from our 2018 Lifetime account auction to RSF’s Berlin Scholarship Program, which trains journalists working in conflict zones on how to improve their digital security.
When asked about the partnership, Christophe Deloire, Director General of RSF, said, “We are very happy that Proton Mail wants to support our worldwide commitment to press freedom. Especially in war and crisis zones and under autocrats and dictators, secure communication is vital — for journalists themselves, but also for their sources.”
We will support RSF’s mission of training and protecting journalists by:
- Raising funds via our Lifetime Fundraiser for RSF’s programs, including the previously mentioned Berlin Scholarship Program, its Digital Security Lab, and the Assistance program, which provides financial and logistical support to journalists who are victims of reprisals due to their reporting.
- Providing free Proton Mail Plus and Proton VPN Plus plan bundles for RSF-affiliated journalists who work in conflict zones or under repressive regimes.
- Sending Proton representatives to RSF workshops and seminars to train journalists on how to protect themselves from cyberthreats, avoid online surveillance, and bypass censorship.
We will also work with RSF staff to identify new areas of cooperation and coordination over the coming twelve months.
We’re incredibly proud to be able to announce this partnership with RSF. An independent, free press is an essential part of any democracy.
The 2021 Proton Lifetime Charity Fundraiser
We will still hold a Lifetime Charity Fundraiser, but this year it will signal the beginning of our partnership with RSF. The raffle proved to be a great success last year, so we have doubled the number of Lifetime accounts that are up for grabs. Now six randomly-selected winners will receive a Lifetime account.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to RSF, and Proton will match the funds raised up to $100,000.
The raffle will run from 13 December 2021 and until 28 December 2021. Participate in the raffle by purchasing tickets in our supporter shop.
This will be our fourth annual fundraiser. Last year’s fundraiser was our most successful yet, raising over $300,000 for good causes around the world.
Your generosity allows us to tackle today’s hardest problems
Proton, simply put, would not exist without the support of our community. Your generosity has allowed us to develop new products that let more people encrypt more data and fight for an internet where privacy is the default.
We feel it is our responsibility to pay that generosity forward, which is why we are excited to partner with RSF to make it easier for reporters worldwide to perform their essential work.