Hi, this is Andy Yen (founder and CEO of Proton), Bart Butler (Proton CTO), and Sam Kaplun (Proton VPN Director of Engineering). We’re ex-CERN scientists and engineers who worked on particle physics before the Snowden leaks convinced us to take up the fight for digital freedom and start Proton Mail, now the world's largest end-to-end encrypted email service.

Since then we have created Proton VPN, Proton Drive, and Proton Pass as part of our mission to create an internet that protects privacy and puts people first.

Here’s our proof: https://i.postimg.cc/j5tfNZBS/Proton-Reddit-AMA.jpg.

Ask us anything.

EDIT: Thanks everybody who participated, it was great to speak with all of you. As it's getting late now in Switzerland, we'll be signing off, but join us on r/ProtonVPN, r/ProtonMail, r/ProtonPass, and r/ProtonDrive to continue the conversation. You can also reach us on Twitter (twitter.com/andyyen and https://twitter.com/BartCButler )

!lock

Comments: 219 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

SpeakTooMuch37 karma

As a Family Plan subscriber, I am very happy with the evolution of Proton products this year:

  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • Drive
  • Pass
  • now Photos

I still have a Big Tech cloud because it still missing one major feature:

  • Share Proton Drive directory with my family (or other) in edit mode (not read-only)
  • Create Photo Albums (and share them)

Do you have estimate date to deliver those features?

Proton_Team33 karma

Share Proton Drive directory is in development already and we are going to start work on Albums as soon as photo backup for iOS is launched (this is coming soon). -Andy

Visual_Grass22237 karma

Any plans to replace or get rid of Google's and Apple's push notifications?

In yesterdays news it was reported that apps push notifications are used to spy on users. Although, this should be no surprise.

Proton_Team50 karma

This was not a surprising revelation at all, in fact, we anticipated this years ago, which is why we end-to-end encrypt all push notifications between our servers and users' devices. That said, we will continue to use Apple and Google push notifications when the services are available on the device because unfortunately they are favored heavily by the operating system in terms of performance and battery life. We are also developing an alternative push notification framework to support web, desktop, and de-Googled devices.

-Bart

HatBoxUnworn6 karma

Will this be an open standard or will it be exclusive to Proton?

Proton_Team14 karma

There's no particular need to standardize it as it's fully internal, so interoperability is kind of a moot point.

-Bart

tinwasp27 karma

Any chance the number of users on visionary accounts will be upped to 7 in the future? We're a family of 7 and as our kids are getting older and starting to hit an age where they need their own e-mail address I find myself struggling to decide, which one of them I like the least ;-)

Proton_Team12 karma

LOL, I love this!

-Bart

lonedarth19 karma

Love the whole proton suite. But don't you think 3rd world countries should also have access to the privacy experience you offer. Not everyone will have same purchase parity. Instead of offering free plans, have you thought about introducing regional pricing? There're only three currencies available on proton.

Proton_Team29 karma

Love the whole proton suite. But don't you think 3rd world countries should also have access to the privacy experience you offer. Not everyone will have same purchase parity. Instead of offering free plans, have you thought about introducing regional pricing? There're only three currencies available on proton.

Absolutely: we hear you and we are fully aware of this issue. Making a VPN, we are well aware that VPN themselves can be used to circumvent these very regions 😅. That is why we are currently working on improving our payment system in order to allow us exploring offering regional pricing in a safe way.

-Sam

shikabane_no_ou15 karma

Hi, while I am a loyal customer, the sheer lack of attention or concern toward linux really grinds my gears. It has been brought up quite a few times that spreading yourself too thin when it comes to launching new products might be the reason for this, granted this would not be a cause of concern if applications for linux were on par with its mac/windows counterpart.

I also believe a large proportion of Linux users would be paid customers compared to windows users despite the overall low percentage of linux users as a whole.

That being said, would you consider making changes into your Business model such as offering discounts/reduced cost for Linux users? Two reason why I believe this would be appropriate/justified.

  1. fair to say that current apps for linux are either non-existent or half-baked. In this case, Linux users would be more like Beta-testers.

  2. This would give windows/mac users an incentive to switch to Linux, ultimately making everyone more private. Is not that not the mission/premise that Proton as a company is working toward?

Proton_Team26 karma

You are fully right. The only reason why our Linux clients are lagging from a development is simply that it is extremely difficult to hire Linux Desktop developers.

So for anyone reading this, if you are based anywhere in the European timezone and willing to take up on the challenge, apply here:

https://boards.eu.greenhouse.io/proton/jobs/4140067101

-Sam

pufftux14 karma

As a very happy Proton customer, can we get some more details on the timeline for Proton Drive on Linux? I've seen the hints that it's coming for a while on the proton social media accounts, and I was sad to see it didn't come with the Mac support this year!

Proton_Team7 karma

It is planned but we do not have an exact timeline.

- Bart

Shoddy_Block_866212 karma

Love what you are doing at proton, and been using your service for while. Here are my questions:

  1. As a mail user, I would like to know why proton mail is only(I'm aware of bridge, but I am talking about free users) available as a web app? Why not a native desktop proton mail app?

  2. I would like to see haptic effects more often used in proton products for better UX! I would like to see how proton improve it's UX.

  3. Many of the source code of your products are archived, why? Will 'updated' versions be open source?

Thanks for your amazing work at proton, and your role in making the internet a better place :)

  • Edit : Formatting issues

Proton_Team10 karma

  1. Soon (TM) :D
  2. Noted, I'll pass that along to the UX team
  3. Yes, our goal is for all client code to be open sourced. For those that haven't been yet, it's simply a matter of prioritization and resources. But it will happen eventually, as we strongly believe that open source is the best way to build trust and secure products.

-Bart

PleaseHodl093 karma

Is there any reason why a macOS version can't be made available for Apple Silicon Macs, considering there's a Proton Mail iPadOS app?

Proton_Team4 karma

We considered this but are going in another direction for desktop on macOS.

-Bart

SpeakTooMuch11 karma

I am a Proton customer, but I feel that Proton Sentinel is a honey pot to collect customer information. If you receive governments requests, you will have more data to share with them. Is that correct? It seems that a activist, a journalist or a hacker must avoid to enable it. Are you gonna to share the phone number with the governments?

Proton_Team13 karma

Whether you use Sentinel or not really depends on your threat model. If your threat model requires Proton to have as little information about you as possible, then you should not enable Proton Sentinel. But for many people, this is not the case (for example, a paid user who has a credit card on file, and has an email that is [firstname.lastname@proton.me](mailto:firstname.lastname@proton.me)). In such cases, the user might have no expectation of anonymity (so the phone number isn't an issue for them), but instead prefers to have the strongest possible protection against hackers.

-Andy

stranot10 karma

Big fan of the Proton ecosystem. Any plans on an encrypted note taking app?

Proton_Team10 karma

There is already encrypted notes in Proton Pass actually, but indeed there will be more note taking functionality coming in other Proton services in the future also, so stay tuned for some announcements about this :) --Andy

DefJamIAm9 karma

Any plans to open up the API for Proton Drive soon? I'd love to be able to back up my entire account onto my Synology device.

Proton_Team12 karma

In my view, there will never be an open API for most Proton products, including Drive, because of the large amount of client-side crypto involved--much of which we cannot validate fully server-side to prevent damage to user data. That said, we'd love to eventually write and support an easy-to-use drive SDK that could be used for third-party integrations. This currently does not have a timeline but it's something we want to do.

-Bart

SpeakTooMuch9 karma

Do you have plans to integrate Proton Contacts with Android system? I would like to use it as default.

Is there any plans to allow us to synchronize it with others softwares (like Thunderbird)?

I also would like to suggest two UX improvements about contacts:

1) It's not possible to fill up a contact anniversary's just with day and month of birth because year is mandatory. And it's very common to know only the day and month of birth of someone. As a developer I know it is something simple to fix (max of 1 day of development). Would be awesome if you put one dev to improve that.

2) It would be awesome to display on Proton Calendar my contact's birth days.

Proton_Team13 karma

Thank you for the suggestions. We do plan to integrate contacts with the system on both the Android and iOS mail apps. For Android, this work will happen with the rewritten app version, which will be going to open beta in the coming weeks. Supporting CardDAV on Bridge to enable integration with Thunderbird contacts is something which is currently not prioritized but could be in the future.

-Bart

LegendofJuli8 karma

Where are the Proton Drive servers located? Do you have plans to expand your servers' locations? Currently the upload/download speeds are lower than expected, and may be due to the location of the servers.

Proton_Team16 karma

Proton Drive servers are currently in Switzerland and Germany, but in the future we will also expand to Norway, which was the location that was preferred by the community when it was discussed on Reddit earlier this year: https://www.reddit.com/r/ProtonMail/comments/14dee9e/help_us_pick_another_future_data_center_location/

We expect to bring Norway online in January and this will help with both performance and redundancy.

-Andy

LegendofJuli5 karma

But, do you expect to locate servers in America? not necessarily in the United States, but in another country in the continent like México, Panama, Colombia or some other country. One of the biggest flaws is that the current servers are far away, and I really understand that this is a European focused service, but it would be great to get close servers for America's users.

Proton_Team13 karma

Yes, we are considering to add a datacenter in Canada as well to cut latency for North America for Drive (where all the data is encrypted anyways), but we still need to make a legal assessment first. -Andy

faSpetru7 karma

What are Proton's plans with SimpleLogin? Not many updates have been released after the merge/buy, which is somewhat frustrating as there are many features requested by the community that seem to be a necessity at this point (the poll made a month or so ago has some of these). I truly believe in both SimpleLogin and Proton, but updates are coming slowly. Thank you (all the teams) for your products.

Proton_Team5 karma

We definitely have more features for SL in the pipeline that are coming. One of the updates that will come soon is better integration for people who use both SimpleLogin and Proton. There are a number of much requested improvements which we are working on adding in the next couple months. -Andy

Spiritual_Sun_38267 karma

[removed]

Proton_Team7 karma

So far, we haven't had a situation where we had to provide this information for Proton VPN. Generally, the requests are, provide us with identifying information about a certain IP address, but as the IP address is shared by thousands of users and we do not have logs, we are unable to provide any information. --Andy

KakuraPuk7 karma

Is it possible/will be possible to buy a dedicated static exit VPN IP so you are not bombarded by CAPTCHAs? Is it a good idea for privacy in general, I've seen some VPN providers sell it.

Proton_Team7 karma

This is indeed in our roadmap for 2024.

At the same time, we continuously work on improving our IP reputation to thus reduce captchas overall.

-Sam

keenfoot6 karma

Many people assume that surveillance of our web traffic/email comes from Russia or China. How active is surveillance in the US by US entities?

Proton_Team21 karma

You should assume that all governments to the best of their capabilities, including democracies, are trying to surveil any web traffic they can. Not only governments, but many, many companies collect and sell this data to both corporate and governmental entities. The US government certainly has top-tier capabilities in this regard and is undoubtably recording most network traffic that goes through the US, as well as that that goes through other parts of the world that it has influence. That said, TLS is likely still secure and will be getting post-quantum upgrades soon so the useful content that can be gathered is limited. Metadata is another story, which is why using a VPN such as ProtonVPN as well as Tor are useful tools in preventing your network traffic from being recorded and monetized.

-Bart

BlueDarkSky6 karma

Hey, I am a Proton Unlimited user mainly on Android. Currently the Proton Mail Android App is pretty bad. Many features from the iOS app are missing. I know that there is a running Beta for the new Android Proton Mail App. But Proton never revealed when it will replace the current stable Android app.

Can you guys give us an ETA please?

Thanks!

Proton_Team5 karma

The new Android mail app will enter public beta in the next several weeks. It will initially not have all the features of the current mail app, but has been rewritten from the ground up to be more stable and scalable. We cannot currently give a timeline for general release.

-Bart

Luckeenumberseven6 karma

I have a bunch of queries so in no particular order:

  • ProtonVPN Stealth protocol for desktop ETA?
  • Why is Proton still directing folks UserVoice despite not keeping it clean nor updating it frequently? To say nothing of how active folks are on Reddit instead, why not just migrate to Reddit? Or GitHub for issue tracking and voting like SimpleLogin currently does?
  • Speaking of issue tracking, will all products receive a dedicated 2024 roadmap blog post?
  • Proton Calendar still isn't open-source (mobile versions at least) if memory serves? Is that happening anytime soon or am I incorrect?
  • To do list, note, and reminder features still expected in 2023?
  • Have you considered adding a way for paying users to "donate" un-needed resources to free users? For example if I am an unlimited user but I only need 5 of my 10 VPN connections, can I optionally forgo those 5 extras for myself and earmark them for 5 free users to get access to plus servers who need them more?
  • Adding Monero payment option?
  • Add attachment directly from mail to drive still expected as a feature this year?
  • Phone number masking/aliasing still on the roadmap?
  • Feature to add contact birthdays as events on the calendar or at least to send notifications automatically?
  • Have you considered a feature to auto-enable VPNs when wi-fi is public/unsecured? Options to set trusted wi-fi networks?
  • Would you be open to SimpleLogin integrating with 1password or other password managers? I know BitWarden already has one...
  • Tuta has a feature on their password protected email which allows 1 password to protect and entire thread and it stays on automatically unless changed from the contacts view. For Proton you have to re-enable it with each response, and you have to manually re-enter the password used which opens the door to user error. Can't you mirror Tuta's password protected email functionality?

Proton_Team5 karma

Hi! You have many many question for one post 😁 I'll give a stab at the VPN-specific questions

ProtonVPN Stealth protocol for desktop ETA?

The reason Stealth is not yet available on Windows (it is however available on macOS) is that Stealth is based on a customization of WireGuard, and WireGuard code-base Windows is very different from Android, iOS and macOS. That said, we are aware how Stealth has become a critical functionality in many countries, and we do have it in our 2024 roadmap to ship it on Windows too. More in the second part of the year as it will depend on many other underlying technical changes that we'll have to attack first.

Have you considered adding a way for paying users to "donate" un-needed resources to free users? For example if I am an unlimited user but I only need 5 of my 10 VPN connections, can I optionally forgo those 5 extras for myself and earmark them for 5 free users to get access to plus servers who need them more?

The free service will always be there to guarantee users access to a free internet, bypassing censorship. For users with more needs, we are actually planning to explore regional pricing, so that our plus plans can be affordable in countries with a different cost of living.

Have you considered a feature to auto-enable VPNs when wi-fi is public/unsecured? Options to set trusted wi-fi networks?

We do, indeed. It's in our roadmap, but not yet having a definite delivery date.

-Sam

shikabane_no_ou6 karma

Hi, while I am a loyal customer, the sheer lack of attention or concern toward linux really grinds my gears. It has been brought up quite a few times that spreading yourself too thin when it comes to launching new products might be the reason for this, granted this would not be a cause of concern if applications for linux were on par with its mac/windows counterpart.

I also believe a large proportion of Linux users would be paid customers compared to windows users despite the overall low percentage of linux users as a whole.

That being said, would you consider making changes into your Business model such as offering discounts/reduced cost for Linux users? Two reason why I believe this would be appropriate/justified.

  1. fair to say that current apps for linux are either non-existent or half-baked. In this case, Linux users would be more like Beta-testers.

  2. This would give windows/mac users an incentive to switch to Linux, ultimately making everyone more private. Is not that not the mission/premise that Proton as a company is working toward?

Proton_Team5 karma

I think Sam alluded to this in a separate answer, but one of the challenges with Linux is finding Linux developers to hire, as most developers on the market are iOS, Android, Windows, macOS developers. Proton is committed to Linux, but unfortunately it just takes longer as the Linux team is not as large. If you know any good Linux developers, please send them to proton.me/careers! --Andy

Proton_Team2 karma

vswr5 karma

It seems like every service discriminates against VPN IPs. Some outright deny service. Apple has flexed its muscles because Private Relay doesn't appear to have nearly as many challenges using services as Proton.

What do you feel can be done to make the world more VPN friendly, and are you doing/planning anything specific to improve the experience when using Proton VPN?

Proton_Team8 karma

Maintaining a high reputation for VPN IP is indeed a challenging endeavor. By implementing a no-log VPN, fighting abuse on our platform is a complex but not impossible task.

Our R&D team constantly works in order to devise algorithms and heuristics that can stifle abusive behavior (e.g. spamming) that would impact the reputation of our IPs and thus the usability of our service.

In general, Privacy is a growing movement, and the more people will adopt VPNs as a default reflex when they browse the web, the more online services will be forced to acknowledge that they can't blindly block VPN IPs (which is actually a weak form of security).

-Sam

Synkorh5 karma

  1. Any plans in supporting the live photos feature from iOS in Drive like Synology Photos does?
  2. any plans in being able to add more storage without the need to upgrade to the next higher plan?

Proton_Team1 karma

  1. Yes, we support backup of live photos on iOS. The feature is currently in beta.
  2. This is not currently planned but we are looking into it as a potential option.

-Andy

SpeakTooMuch5 karma

What (and when) will be the next big Proton announcement? Do you have any spoiler? 😅✌️

Proton_Team3 karma

🖥️

VarDevNull5 karma

Any plan to accept contributions for the Android and iOS apps in the near future? There are a few user story shortcomings on them that might be addressed faster if the OS community was allowed to pitch in.

Proton_Team7 karma

We are publishing the source code of our apps so that the Community can inspect it and make sure they can trust what they are installing on their devices. We'd love to accept contribution to the OS community, however this requires a different level of involvement from our developers.We do have a success story of code contributed from the community, such as some early version of the VPN Linux client!

-Sam

LimitedApplePenguin5 karma

Created a Reddit account just for this!

  1. Are there plans for having Proton Calendar on Android integrate with the system so other apps can see events? As of now, I have a sharing URL for the calendars I want and add them to another app which integrates them into the system. Are there any plans for this to be a native feature?

Proton_Team4 karma

We'd love to do this, both for functionality and privacy. It's currently not on the roadmap but we'll consider it.

-Bart

Ok-Internet-47474 karma

I switched to Proton this summer and have been enjoying it. But it feels like Proton is so focused on diversifying apps that it ships a MVP and then doesn’t ever come back to them. How are you going to balance giving more functional apps we are paying for than just new apps that are secure, but not as functional as other apps?

Proton_Team3 karma

It sometimes takes us longer than we want, but we're continually adding new features to existing services. For example, this year Proton Drive arrived on both Windows and macOS, and Proton Pass also had an immense list of improvements and new features added since launching 5 months ago. The exact balance is difficult to get right (probably we'll never get it exactly right). Overall, let us know your thoughts about this on our community social media channels (https://proton.me/community) and we will try to change the balance based off of your feedback and input. --Andy

jaam014 karma

Is in your road map to add a note taking app to your ecosystem? With folders and tags please 🙏, it's the most important thing missing in your suit (in my opinion).

Proton_Team3 karma

We added the first notes functionality in the Proton ecosystem with the basic notes that is supported in Proton Pass. There is more notes functionality planned, so look for more announcements about this in the coming months. --Andy

godwit124 karma

Why is it possible to log in to an Unlimited Proton account with all email aliases? I (and others) want to reserve the one we created the account with to be exclusively for Proton. Also it can be a security feature to allow users to set only one of their address and/or a dedicated user name for their account.

Proton_Team7 karma

This is has been under consideration before. Part of the concern is creating more issues for people who remember one of their email addresses but not all of them (it happens very frequently). But I agree that it could be a nice security feature--thanks for the feedback.

-Bart

myrlog4 karma

When will we have a proper linux vpn app?

Proton_Team7 karma

We are actively working to bring the VPN Linux client to be on par with the other platforms.

The only reason why our Linux clients are lagging from a development is simply that it is extremely difficult to hire Linux Desktop developers.

So for anyone reading this, if you are based anywhere in the European timezone and willing to take up on the challenge, apply here:

https://boards.eu.greenhouse.io/proton/jobs/4140067101

moaba4 karma

First of all, thank you for your amazing work. Building a trustworthy brand you can rely on and do as they praise. Living in Ethiopia now gave me even more reason to use your services. I have even started a family account to expend my online safety to my wife and son. I use Android & Windows and she is using iOS and MacOS. I do notice a significant difference in the ease of use between the platforms though. Luckily it is easier for her than for me. Can you please explain why this is the case and if you foresee more improvements for Android especially?

Proton_Team3 karma

Hi! This is great to hear! Indeed, it is fantastic to know that our work can be useful for your family in getting safer. The various VPN clients have been implemented in a native way on each platform because a VPN is a service that requires a deep integration with the underlying operating system. That said, we are aware that because of these, the various implementations are not necessarily sporting the same features and interface. We are indeed working on a redesign that will bring all the clients to a much improved and consistent user experience that will be delivered during 2024.

-Sam

GentleDerp3 karma

Is a contacts sync system with iOS or Android in the works? Would love to keep my contacts private to myself instead of sharing with with Apple or Google!

DaisyLee20103 karma

What products/services are you looking into making next? or are we in the era of polishing and refinement?

Proton_Team6 karma

Since we launched quite a few things this year, I do think Proton needs to enter a period of polishing and refinement, so do expect to see some of that, but of course, we hope to be able to soon get back to releasing new things for the community :) --Andy

xDRAN0x3 karma

Hello! Long time customer here. Where are we with the office suite of products?

ty!

Proton_Team10 karma

Still a long way to go for this. It took Google and Microsoft 20 years, and while it won't take us that long, we won't immediately be able to get docs, sheets, slides out. We're approaching this incrementally and we hope to have some updates to share about this with the community already next year. --Andy

Alfondorion3 karma

Hey, is there any update on the contact birthday/anniversary calendar? It's the last reason I keep another calendar on my phone.

Proton_Team1 karma

We have recently added holiday calendar, but this is a good idea as well. We're adding this onto the to do list (but this is probably not going to be the highest priority, so it might take some time before we get to it). Thanks for the suggestion! --Andy

Hyp3rax3 karma

Will there be complete contacts integration on phone OSes?

Big_Relative18683 karma

Proton photos was marked as planned in the user voice forum and today we got the photo backup and grid view in proton drive. Are you going to build a standalone app eventually or "proton photos" will be just more photo management functionality in the drive app? Is there any plan in the near future for allowing user selected folders for the photo backup?

Proton_Team4 karma

Yes, we plan to provide expanded photo management functionality via a standalone app in the future including support for albums etc.

We have already started work on allowing user the ability to select folders to backup photos from, this is coming very soon.

-Andy

Gardol58732 karma

Is this new Proton Photos going to have machine learning to categorize and search photos and videos based on the context shown, the location or recognized faces? And what about a location heat map? It would be really, really good.

Proton_Team5 karma

We are exploring this possibility and are excited about the potential for on-device machine learning that respects privacy and works with end-to-end encryption.

-Bart

PleaseHodl092 karma

I'm very excited about Proton Photos, and view it as a possible solution for the ultimate photo manager with the right features. Just got the Camera Upload update today, and had a few questions for if these features are in the pipeline:

Upload All Photos (like in DCIM or Pictures folders in Android, not just the Camera Roll)

Facial Recognition, using on device training like Apple.

Support for moving photos, such as Apple Live Photos and Samsung Motion Photos (I have yet to find a photo manager that supports both of these formats. Having support for both would be amazing!)

Regarding Proton Pass, I remember SimpleLogin before being acquired had in the pipeline temporary virtual credit cards that could be used for shopping, and virtual phone numbers for things such as SMS verification needed for 2FA with creating accounts. Are they features still planned?

Thanks for all of your amazing work! Love your services!

Proton_Team3 karma

  1. Yes, we are bringing the ability to select other picture folders on Android. It is already in alpha testing.

  2. Yes, we have this on our roadmap and doing so while maintaining EE2E.

  3. We support backup for Apple Live Photos from iOS. And soon you will be able to preview them on web and other platforms.

Thank you again for your support! --Andy

Spiritual_Sun_38262 karma

[removed]

Proton_Team1 karma

This is a duplicate, we answered the other copy of this question below :) -Andy

SpeakTooMuch2 karma

What was most challenging this year? And what will be next year?

Proton_Team6 karma

To be honest, a lot of things crossed the finish line this year (Proton Pass launch, Proton Drive on Windows, macOS; Proton Sentinel, Proton VPN on Linux, etc), so it wasn't so easy to coordinate all of that. The main challenge in 2024 will be to continue to go faster while staying efficient since Proton remains to this day community funded, as opposed to venture capital funded. --Andy

bcnpa2 karma

Do you have any plans in creating a library that makes E2EE super simple, so any developer can integrate it into their platform?

Proton_Team3 karma

It's a noble goal, and there are several good E2EE libraries already out there. The bottom line though is that doing E2EE right tends not to be particularly simple, and it's easy to use secure primitives to make insecure products. While we do maintain two high-quality open-source E2EE libraries already (OpenPGP.js and Gopenpgp), I'm not sure it's ever going to be as simple as importing a library.

-Bart

echelon372 karma

When will desktop apps for things like Proton Mail, Proton Pass, etc be available?

Why do Proton Pass aliases show up in SimpleLogin, but SimpleLogin aliases don't show up in Proton Pass?

Why do you rate limit alias creation in Proton Pass, but not SimpleLogin?

Proton_Team4 karma

Desktop apps are coming, we hope to launch them relatively soon so stay tuned. Two-way alias sync between SimpleLogin and Proton Pass is also planned as well. -Andy

killh82 karma

Do you have any plans for a private DNS service as well? Something similar to NextDNS/Quad9 etc.

Keep up the great work btw, it's great seeing you evolve over the years that i've been a customer!

Proton_Team3 karma

All our paid Proton VPN servers sport NetShield, which is indeed our DNS-based solution to block malware, spyware, and ads. In addition, it is expanded by the work of Proton Mail phishing reports.

So my suggestion is to simply use Proton VPN to protect your privacy and enable NetShield to block ads 😁

-Sam

Sirgrin2 karma

Are you considering adding more USA cities to Proton VPN such as Honolulu, and Juneau Alaska?

Proton_Team4 karma

We are indeed always expanding our infrastructure to cover more and more cities and region of the world. And we have just recently conducted a survey among many VPN users to take on suggestions on where to expand next. We'll add your input to it!

-Sam

Sirgrin1 karma

Please also consider:

Rome, Italy

Florence, Italy

Geneva, Switzerland

Lausanne, Switzerland

Marseille, France

Montevideo, Uruguay

Panama City, Panama

Jakarta, Indonesia

Liechtenstein

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Proton_Team4 karma

What is your use case for a VPN server in Liechtenstein? I'm really curious about that.

-Bart

Confident-Ad-87952 karma

My question is this example if protonmail get forced to log again for some reason, and they see its a protonvpn ip. Would they be able to force you guys to log ip for customer email adress for that specific protonmail user? since its under same company and technically same account?

Proton_Team4 karma

No, VPN is governed by a different legal framework and we do not log and have never been asked to log which user is associated with which VPN connection.

-Bart

moaba2 karma

Proton Pass was the reason I started using a password manager and I love the family sharing option. The one thing I do not dare to use is the integrated 2FA function. Isn't it an increased risk to also have that in the same account as your password manager or am I missing something here?

Proton_Team3 karma

For most threat models, 2FA on Proton Pass isn't really an issue for third party (non-Proton) services. If you don't put the 2FA tokens in Proton Pass, you probably have it on a separate app on your phone, which is not so different from just having it in the Proton Pass app.

What you can't and shouldn't do right now, is put your Proton 2FA into Proton Pass, since you will need that 2FA to get into Proton Pass... We are working on workaround for this so that you can use Proton Pass for Proton 2FA as well, so stay tuned for this to come early next year. --Andy

Confident-Ad-87952 karma

it says on protonvpn that you denied logs in a court and won, but is there any court files to backup this claim? atm it just seems like something everyone can say. please share more info

Proton_Team9 karma

dipper062 karma

Hi ! Do you intend to make a proton pass web interface available?

Thanks!

Proton_Team4 karma

Yes, a Proton Pass web app is planned. https://proton.me/blog/pass-roadmap-2023 - Bart

SpeakTooMuch1 karma

Does Proton have a hiring diversity policy? Do you have plans to hire remote developers (especially from other continents like South America and Africa)?

Proton_Team3 karma

Currently, Proton operates with an office centric culture so we generally do not hire too many people for remote roles. We believe a lot in diversity, and the Proton team today represents more than 40 different countries. Today, we have close to 30 open positions at https://proton.me/careers and we encourage everybody who supports our mission to apply. -Andy

Alfondorion1 karma

Why wasn't the proof picture uploaded to Proton Drive? :D

Proton_Team5 karma

We were just following the r/IAmA recommendations. Next time indeed we'll put it on Proton Drive ;-) --Andy

tokmen321 karma

when are we going to be able to save files from proton mail into proton drive, or send a proton drive file into mail?

Proton_Team3 karma

We really want this too! It is planned and will be coming in the second half of next year.

-Bart

Stygiomedusa231 karma

A question I'm very concerned about is regarding ProtonVPN.

The governments in Russia/Turkey/Iran block ProtonVPN by simply blacklisting the IP addresses of the servers. Reinventing protocols doesn't help with this clumsy method of blocking.

Will Proton do something in this direction? I've previously suggested the idea of being able to use your VPS as a bridge to connect to Proton servers.

All in all, it's very sad that Proton is blocked in such a hatchet way.

Proton_Team3 karma

There are indeed workarounds to these censorship techniques on which our R&D team is actively working, but that we can't disclose as it would help the Censor.

The very fact that more and more countries are implementing very aggressive forms of censorship towards VPNs is pushing us to further invest in new solutions to allow people to get back access to a free internet.

-Sam

Sirgrin1 karma

Please consider adding Secure Core vpn exit servers for Iceland, Sweden, and Switzerland. The obvious way to do it is, depending on the country, allow entrance using servers from one or both of the other two. If this isn't possible, are there technical reasons preventing this?

And by the way, I keep hoping that one day, I'll open the Iceland servers list to see an additional 12 or 24 ore servers. My fear is that when it happens, it won't be real, just an AI hallucination.

Proton_Team2 karma

Yes, this is in our roadmap. It actually depends on an improved redesign of our app that we plan to ship during 2024.

In general, we keep on adding servers in based on actual usage. That said, next year we plan on greatly expand our server fleet overall, in order to also improve IP reputation.

-Sam

GlitteringEntrance511 karma

Hi there, I am an happy customer of the suite. I switched recently to proton pass as password manager. I would like to have a chance to save all my login and pw offline. Is there an easy way to do or just export in .json format?

Proton_Team2 karma

There is an export functionality in the browser extension, so you can export all of the data and keep a local copy if you want. Thanks again for your support! -Andy

Stygiomedusa231 karma

The next big threat with the Proton suite is false positives from abuse protection systems.

I think the risk, however small, of losing access to your photos, passwords (!!) and files in a false positive in the mail is nonsense and votes against using all Proton services in a single suite.

I mean, an accidental (or maybe willful) ToS violation in one service locks out the entire account and all other data. Does Proton not see this as a problem?

Previously, Proton "officially" recommended to make different accounts for their different services, but this is not a solution to the problem.

Proton_Team2 karma

You can of course make separate accounts and that is an option. But if a willful ToS violation is made, we really have to block the account as otherwise it can endanger the entire service. Take for example, an email sending out thousands of spam messages, if this is not blocked it can lead to Proton getting blocked by other email providers. There is no email service that would not disable the account in this instance.

One good thing about Proton is that you can actually reach a real human, and we have customer support that is staffed 24/7. So if you do get your account disabled on accident, somebody will look into it and help you resolve the issue quickly.

-Andy

Alfondorion1 karma

Will there be roadmaps in the next weeks for all Proton services next year? For Mail&Calendar it already was announced. But how about the other ones? (Okay, maybe not Pass because their roadmap is pretty recent)

Proton_Team3 karma

Yes, we plan to publish roadmaps for all of the products, but they are generally published separately and not always at the same time since these are independent teams, but if you follow us on social, you will be able to see the roadmaps when they appear. There will be some new public roadmaps arriving early next year so stay tuned. Usually they come in the Spring as the roadmaps are being built now. --Andy

SpeakTooMuch1 karma

Do you have plans to release a public API for Proton Drive to allow third-party integrations? It would be amazing. I saw some projects doing reverse engineering to bring support to backup tools/cloud synchronization. With a public API it will be much more easier and will enrich the Proton Drive ecosystem. And it could be beyond the usual, I saw for example some people developing Obsidian file synchronization plugins for some cloud providers and having this kind of things on Proton Driven will be a great addition for the product and the community.

araxhiel1 karma

Hi Proton Team,

Not quite sure if this have have been asked during this AmA:

But do you have any plans, or news, regarding being able to access Calendar (and may be Contacts) data through Bridge?

Thanks in advance.

Regards.

Proton_Team5 karma

It's something we'd like to do but it is significant effort and currently not prioritized.

-Bart

HatBoxUnworn1 karma

Are there plans to allow for Proton Calendar events to sync with Proton Bridge?

notthatguy031 karma

How do we find the governmental requests you’ve been given, and your legal responses, Proton has become famous for?

Proton_Team4 karma

We do provide aggregate statistics on our transparency report: https://proton.me/legal/transparency

Many of the court cases are in public record, so you can find them there, and we will from time to time, summarize the significant court cases on our blog, such as the victory we won in Swiss court in 2021: https://proton.me/blog/court-strengthens-email-privacy

-Andy

Confident-Ad-87951 karma

i helped you guys with a place where they shared a method to get proton pass for free (paid plan) and even places that sell proton accounts thats not their, i was wondering for this since you guys are the boss if i can get my student discount permenant for all this help?

Proton_Team3 karma

If you went through our bug bounty program, this might be possible as we do give out bounties from time to time even if the issue reported is not exactly security related. Definitely reach out to us there, or DM us on Twitter. --Andy

soulitbit1 karma

Simplelogin aliases & even custom domains in simplelogin uses Simplelogin mx servers which are being easily detected and getting blocked.

Why not let Simplelogin use same mx servers as proton mail to avoid getting blocked.

Do you have any solutions/fixes to avoid Simplelogin aliases being blocked by services?

Proton_Team3 karma

We put significant effort into detecting blocks by sites and getting them removed, but it's an ongoing effort and requires continual engagement with both the sites themselves and the maintainers of lists used by these sites. Using the same MX records for both services would just as likely get Proton blocked more than getting SimpleLogin blocked less, so keeping them separate reduces the blast radius and gives users more options to work around the blocks that do exist.

-Bart

nidhal_saidani1 karma

Hi Proton Team,
Hope you're doing great! Quick questions:
Any chance we'll get an "emails to tasks" feature soon?
When can we expect single-character usernames?
Also, a friendly hello to Andy and Bart from yours truly!
Cheers,
Nidhal

Proton_Team2 karma

Hi Nidhal! We would have to build tasks before we do emails-to-tasks but we will consider that when the time comes.

-Bart

[deleted]1 karma

[removed]

Proton_Team3 karma

It is possible to use Proton VPN with a newly created Proton account, which can be a new Proton Mail email which is not associated with any of your other accounts, and you can use random numbers for this Proton Mail address if you like.

Proton VPN actually does have a server side audit that also audited our no-logs policy! https://protonvpn.com/blog/no-logs-audit/

When an account is deleted, the data is deleted as well. It's deleted entirely from the database and after approximately a month also cannot be recovered anymore from backups. --Andy

Reiku1 karma

One of the main features I use in Google Drive is the "scan" feature (for example, I use it regularly to scan receipts for expense reporting). Is this on your roadmap?

Proton_Team5 karma

Yes, we have a scan image to doc feature planned for Proton Drive mobile apps :) --Andy

dipper061 karma

Hi ! Family plan user here ! Is a dedicated desktop app for mail+calendar still in the pipes ? Thanks !

Sirgrin1 karma

Is the Proton VPN Digital Freedom Index for 2021 still accurate? Will there be an update?

https://protonvpn.com/blog/digital-freedom-index-2021/

Proton_Team3 karma

Thanks for your interest in this publication. Indeed, we are going to publish an update to this page and update the ranking, as the online freedom space has evolved quite a lot since 2021.

We have in parallel recently launched a live page called the Proton VPN Observatory on online censorship https://protonvpn.com/internet-censorship-observatory/2023. Hope it can be useful!

-Sam

soulitbit1 karma

In simplelogin you allow us keep all emails/aliases created during my premium plans. But you don't apply same rule for proton pass plus users.

Simplelogin gives us peace of mind that we can keep emails even if we change service. Bit proton pass does not give this confidence/peace of mind.

Can you allow us to keep emails created in proton pass plus, even if I cancel plus plan ?.

Proton_Team6 karma

In general, we can't really do this because it is not sustainable if users can keep all the paid features after downgrading to free. There are some features where we have intentionally left this type of loophole (such as Proton Sentinel, as we wouldn't want an activist or journalists to lose the additional protection if they ran into financial difficulties), but it is not sustainable in general unfortunately. --Andy

soulitbit1 karma

What are your plans with simplelogin? Any plans get more features of simplelogin premium to proton plus users like custom domain support?.

Proton_Team3 karma

Yes, we definitely plan to improve the integration between services so Proton Mail users can more easily use the various features of SimpleLogin. There is currently an internal effort focused on this --Andy

geoAnte1 karma

Can an external user who knows someone's address at Proton (for instance, [exampleUser@proton.me](mailto:exampleUser@proton.me)) obtain the OpenPGP public key of that user, without any action on the part of that proton.me user?

Proton_Team3 karma

Yes. We have two public APIs for this, one using the HTTP Keyserver protocol (HKP, https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/draft-shaw-openpgp-hkp-00) and the other WKD (Web Key Directory, https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-koch-openpgp-webkey-service/). These are designed to allow automatic interoperability for encrypted email with third-party clients and providers who support these protocols.

-Bart

Canola72681 karma

Love the work!

  1. Is there an estimated timeline for release of the new Android mail app?
  2. If your family is larger than 6, how does the family plan work?
  3. Do you hire developers living in the U.S. for remote work?

Thank you for building a more private internet for all humanity.

Proton_Team3 karma

  1. It will be entering public beta in the coming weeks.
  2. At the moment, you would need to subscribe to a business plan to have more than 6 users.
  3. We do have several developers in the US. The time zone difference makes this a bit more difficult but we do hire US-based people.

-Bart

No_Delivery68741 karma

Do you have a high margin on services & why do you charge extremely high fees vs competitors?

Will proton ever get their prices in line with industry? For example, your emails with 500mb storage in 2023 for free accounts vs every competitor around.

Proton_Team12 karma

Proton Mail free accounts have 1GB of storage actually if you complete the onboarding checklist. What Proton can provide for "free" is never going to be competitive with something like Gmail, which makes money in a different way. From that perspective, Gmail isn't really free either, you are paying with your most sensitive and intimate data. However, even when comparing with other paid options, Proton is unlikely to ever be the cheapest option for a few reasons.

We're based in Switzerland, which has good privacy laws, but some of the highest datacenter and electricity costs in the world.

Proton is not venture capital funded, so we cannot run at a loss. But this makes us more sustainable in the long run, and allows us to always put users first as we are not controlled or influenced by financially driven actors.

And finally, we are just unwilling to do things in the cheapest way possible. Whether it is running our own infrastructure instead of going to the cloud, or investing in unique security features (such as Proton Sentinel or Proton Key Transparency), from a margins perspective, Proton is intentionally optimized for privacy and not for cost.

-Andy

soulitbit0 karma

Can you gift 🎁 me lifetime plan for this Christmas 🎄 😁😉?

Proton_Team5 karma

Unfortunately we can't, but you can try to win one :) This year, we will be again running our annual lifetime account charity fundraiser where you will have the chance to win one. We will be announcing this shortly so stay tuned on Reddit/Twitter. 100% of the proceeds go towards non-profit organizations which are aligned with our mission to build a better internet. --Andy