PayPal freezes ProtonMail Account

PayPal freezes ProtonMail Account. ProtonMail is an end-to-end encrypted email service, developed by researchers at European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN and MIT for a more secured and private Internet.

ProtonMail is still in its Beta State and had already received $ 275,000 from crowd funding campaigns to their PayPal Account and more than $10,000 to their BitCoin Account.

ProtonMail Co-founder Andy Yen –

UPDATE 1: 7/1/2014, Still no response from PayPal, our campaign page can be viewed here.

This morning, we received an email and telephone call from PayPal notifying us that our account has been restricted pending further review. At this time, it is not possible for ProtonMail to receive or send funds through PayPal. No attempt was made by PayPal to contact us before freezing our account, and no notice was given.


Like many others, we have all heard the PayPal horror stories, but didn’t actually think it would happen to us on our campaign since PayPal promised, very recently, to improve their policies. Unfortunately, it seems those were hollow promises as ProtonMail is now the latest in a long string of crowdfunding campaigns to be hit with account freezes. (For examples, just look here, here, and here).

While the $275,000 ProtonMail has raised in the past 2 weeks is a large amount, it pales in comparison to many other crowdfunding campaigns that have raised sums in excess of $1,000,000 so we can’t help but wonder why ProtonMail was singled out. When we pressed the PayPal representative on the phone for further details, he questioned whether ProtonMail is legal and if we have government approval to encrypt emails. We are not sure which government PayPal is referring to, but even the 4th Amendment of the US constitution guarantees:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures….”

It seems PayPal is trying to come up with ANY excuse they can to prevent us from receiving funds.


As a result, we have disabled PayPal as a payment option on our campaign page, but it is still possible contribute with credit card and Bitcoin. Please help us get the word out there as by bringing attention to this issue, we may be able to convince PayPal to do the right thing. And if anybody from PayPal is listening, we’ve emailed and called today, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

ProtonMail was designed to be the perfect answer to NSA’s tendencies to snoop outside their original charters. Some notable fetaures of ProtonMail are –

  • For logging into the ProtonMail Account requires two passwords. Encrypted data is sent to the user only after the user authenticates itself by providing the first password. The second password is a decryption password and is used to decrypt the user’s data in the browser itself. This second password is only with the user and not even with the ProtonMail, as they claim.
  • Messages are always stored and transmitted in encrypted format.
  • They claim that they never log user activity nor save any metadata such as IPs of the users, etc.
  • ProtonMail users can send mails to non-ProtonMail users as well in an encrypted format as well as un-encrypted format.
  • ProtonMail implements AES, RSA and OpenPGP to encrypt data and even support self-destructing emails.
  • Its very easy to use with a clean interface.

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