The Swiss encrypted email service developed by CERN researchers, ProtonMail, announced a few hours ago the launch of an application that allows end-to-end encryption in clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird and Apple Mail. Its name is ProtonMail Bridge and It is available for Windows and Mac; Linux users will have to wait at the beginning of next year.
It was created in 2013 and had been operating on a limited basis since 2014. The service based in Switzerland, regardless of legislation such as the European or the US, aimed to satisfy the most security and privacy aware after complaints about massive surveillance made by Edward Snowden. Disadvantages? To enjoy its presumable high security and privacy from a desktop computer you have to make use of its web version by renouncing, therefore, mail clients. Until now.
The change in service allows end-to-end encryption in mail clients without major changes
ProtonMail Bridge works as a mail server on the device that communicates with the remote ProtonMail server to encrypt and decrypt both incoming and outgoing messages locally, also managing the keys in a transparent way for the user.
This method has been developed over the last two years in order that mail clients can be compatible with this protection without being directly intervened by extensions, supplements or severe modifications. This also allows native text searches to work normally with encrypted messages without compromising them in any way.
Although ProtonMail Bridge officially supports Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird and Apple Mail, developers point out that it can work with any IMAP / SMTP email client. To use it, it will be necessary to have an account with a payment plan.