Bye bye ProtonMail

8 Jun 2022 21:10 | email | security

I recently blogged about my ProtonMail issues, the weird glitches with their
bridge IMAP interface and their apparent lack of care that it might be silently
deleting customer data -

I have now finally gotten around to kicking ProtonMail out of my life and I
could not be happier. Gone are the days of having to run some janky Go software
just to get an unstable IMAP interface. Gone are randomly changing message UIDs
invalidating backups. Gone is the totally batshit way that messages can become
orphaned from any folder and not show up anywhere other than "All Mail".

Suddenly I have normal IMAP that works, it even works on iOS (!) and in the
webmail I can operate on more than 50 messages at once. I can in fact perform a
quick operation on the entire resultset of a search. Try doing that in Proton's
webmail. I have lost hours of my life to messing around just try to carry out
basic operations on their platform and I'm so glad to be rid of it.

My new email provider, FastMail, lives up to its name. It's also an Australian
company with servers in the US, so five-eyes, but I just don't care anymore. I
think ProtonMail is ultimately selling the illusion of privacy to most of their
customers. Yes its true message contents are encrypted and it's probably also
true that Proton staff have no access to the keys or the data, however anyone
who knows anything about how SMTP works will know that GCHQ & friends very
likely have near total ingest of all messages sent in the UK regardless of
which email system people are using.

I'm fairly sure its been reported that GCHQ capture practically everything and
you only need to peruse an SC clearance application form to realise that they
probably already have all of your email. Services like ProtonMail really just
provide an illusion of privacy, if you actually needed real secrecy you'd be
using PGP which works with any email platform.

For regular people who just have a continuous stream of Amazon order
notifications and ebay invoices there's really no point. Proton makes life
harder in many ways, is cumbersome to use and since they apparently don't really
care that much if they accidentally delete your data.. why bother.