Shhh. Super Secretive ProtonMail Comes Out of the Closet

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MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 15: An old bank vault, inside the Milwaukee County Historical Society And Museum, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on JUNE 15, 2012. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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ProtonMail, the encrypted email born in the wake of concerns over NSA (and other) snooping into personal email, will be available to anyone starting Wednesday, so far the email has been available on an invite-only basis. Now anyone with access to the Apple App Store or Google Play store can get it.

The service launched just over two years ago by techies from MIT and CERN. They were motivated by demand for email that could not be monitored in the wake of Edward Snowden’s charges of U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropping on citizens (and other governments.)

The company, based in Geneva—Switzerland has some of the world’s toughest data privacy laws—said its end-to-end encryption will keep email safe from unauthorized eyes.

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The invite-only list of users surpassed the 1 million mark so the preview email service has been put through the paces.

The timing, coming as Apple is fighting U.S. law enforcement requests to hack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino, Calif. shooters, is not coincidental. Other tech companies, who have supported Apple’s position, are also increasing their own use of encryption. The company also just announced support for PayPal (PYPL), a company with which it’s had a complicated relationship since PayPal froze its accounts within months of launch. ProtonMail still “prefers” credit card payments.

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“Given the recent pressures being applied to companies like ours by governments, our view is that now is the time to get encryption out to as many people as possible, despite the reisk that we may be swamped again [by user requests] as happened when we released the beta two years ago,” ProtonMail spokesman Alex Rosier, told Fortune via email.



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