ProtonMail has launched a new contacts manager for its encrypted email service. And just like its email service, ProtonMail Contacts offers enviable levels of encryption. This makes it perfect for anyone who believes Big Brother is watching their every move. Which is 1984-level stuff.
In these troubled times, with governments spying on their citizens, encryption is more important than ever. ProtonMail already offers an encrypted email service for people keen to keep their communications private, and it has now added an encrypted contacts manager to its offerings.
The World’s First Encrypted Contacts Manager
ProtonMail Contacts, which ProtonMail is describing as “the world’s first encrypted contacts manager,” now offers “zero access encryption and digital signature verification”. This means that nobody other than you, including ProtonMail itself, should be able to see your email contacts.
Zero-access encryption means only you can see the protected contact fields. And digital signature verification means nobody has tampered with your contacts. Everything can be encrypted in this way except for email addresses, which ProtonMail needs to actually send emails on your behalf.
We have just launched the world's first contact manager with zero access encryption and digital signature verification! Start encrypting and verifying your contacts today: https://t.co/d0C4xCLUKy pic.twitter.com/t8ZUPF4nGG
— ProtonMail (@ProtonMail) November 21, 2017
Explaining How ProtonMail Contacts Works
The new ProtonMail Contacts is only currently available on the web, but should be available on Android and on iOS soon. In the meantime, in the blog post announcing its new encrypted contacts manager, ProtonMail explains how ProtonMail Contacts works.
Essentially, ProtonMail generates a new public and private key pairing for every email account. The private key is generated on the client side “using a derivative of your password which we don’t have access to,” keeping ProtonMail out.
Contact fields are then encrypted with the public key, and can only be decrypted by the private key that only you know. All encrypted data is also signed with your private key, allowing its authenticity to be verified every time you access it.
Helping News Journalists Do Their Jobs
While ProtonMail is open to everyone, it’s especially important for journalists. The press is a powerful force for good, and with the news media under attack, encrypted communications are increasingly important. Which makes ProtonMail Contacts a precious commodity.
Do you currently use ProtonMail? If so, why? Are you a journalist looking to glean important information from sources? Or just an ordinary citizen paranoid about their privacy? Will you be using ProtonMail Contacts? Please let us know in the comments below!