Published On: Thu, Mar 23rd, 2017

Another European e2e encrypted Gmail choice reports rising signups


Tutanota, an end-to-end encrypted email use located in Germany, says it’s seeing an “exponential” uptick in sign-ups — crediting this to flourishing recognition of and regard for privacy online for a accumulation of (often political) reasons.

The freemium, open source encrypted email use exited beta behind in Mar 2015 — with a goal to enlarge entrance to end-to-end encryption vs working options like PGP that can be too formidable for mainstream users to adopt. Tutanota uses RSA and AES encryption, and monetizes around reward tiers — charity paid extras for those who wish things like additional storage.

Blogging about a expansion trend it says started in a second half of 2016 — though claims has “really taken off recently” — co-founder Matthias Pfau cites information from Alexa Page Rank showing the email use gained around 32,000 page ranks over a past dual month, during a same time as other remoteness unwavering tools, such as a DuckDuckGo private hunt engine, also saw their rankings rise. So he’s job 2017 “the start of a privacy-era”.

He’s not attributing Tutanota’s user growth to any singular event, such as a choosing of President Trump in a US, though argues it’s down to a multiple of domestic events and issues that are pushing some-more people to find privacy-protecting alternatives to safeguard their communications from being parsed by third parties.

“[As good as a choosing of Trump] also a radicalization of politics in Turkey — and other countries (France, Austria, Netherlands, Brexit UK notice laws) play into it,” he suggests, when asked to what he attributes rising sign-up rates. “As Tutanota is also accessible in French and Turkish, it is really easy for people there to strengthen their private communication.”

He tells TechCrunch a email service now has some-more than 2 million users — that is adult from a million a year ago, and around 1.5M during a start of this year. It’s adding some-more than 200,000 new users per month, he says.

“Growth is top in a US and in Europe (UK, France, Austria, Germany) and in Turkey. In ubiquitous Tutanota is flourishing in all regions,” he adds. “We are vehement about this expansion since it means people know a significance of remoteness and because it is required to strengthen their private communication.

“We wish this is only a commencement and that a destiny internet will be most secure for all of us. That’s also because we devise to supplement an encrypted residence book to Tutanota in a future. Then it will be probable to save one’s contacts encrypted, rather than uploading a whole residence book to Google or Apple.”

Last November, another European-based end-to-end encrypted email use — Switzerland-located Protonmail — also reported seeing an liquid of new users. It credited a doubling in the rate of pointer ups during a time to a choosing of US President Donald Trump.

Commenting now, ProtonMail co-founder Andy Yen also suggests a accumulation of events are contributing to drive seductiveness in pro-privacy services such as end-to-end encrypted email, revelation TechCrunch ProtonMail’s current expansion rate is “approximately 50% aloft compared to a start of a year, and 3x compared to center of 2016”.

“We have several million users sum now, approximately 1 million are monthly active,” he adds.

A Google Trends hunt comparing ‘protonmail’ and ‘tutanota’ shows seductiveness in both hunt terms rising, with ProtonMail’s expansion bend generally pronounced.

As we suggested final fall, factors such as Trump’s election presents an opportunity for Europe’s remoteness startups — generally for those located in jurisdictions with some-more strong remoteness laws (so really not in a UK, whose GCHQ comprehension agency has a story of data-sharing with its NSA reflection in a US). Germany and Switzerland offer some-more of a authorised firewall opposite the mass notice programs suggested by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, in 2013.

ProtonMail’s Yen also suggests a usability of strongly encrypted email tech is impending a tipping point, arguing that privacy-protecting email alternatives are coming underline relation with mainstream webmail services such as Gmail and Yahoo — that of march do not offer any remoteness for users’ comms, given a companies monetize a ‘free’ services around user information and targeted advertising.

And even if a majority of email users are gentle with Google or Yahoo being arcane to their supportive comms, it’s increasingly apparent that any information any companies have entrance to is also information that can find a approach into a hands of A) hackers and B) government comprehension agencies.

“Politics and events like a US election, Vault7 leaks, Yahoo Mail compromise, etc do tend to emanate spikes of growth, though a postulated expansion comes from coming underline relation with bequest email providers like Gmail,” argues Yen.

“Effectively, with all else being hold equal, given a choice between remoteness and no privacy, people will tend to collect a private option. Our work currently is essentially focused on creation certain that all else is in fact equal,” he adds.

Featured Image: Josh hallett/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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