Tutanota launches Secure Connect, an encrypted contact form, to support Press Freedom

Secure Connect is an open source encrypted communication tool which lets people communicate with the representative of a website securely and anonymously.

Today we are launching Secure Connect – an open source encrypted contact form. Secure Connect is a great tool for any website that wants to offer an encrypted email channel for a secure and confidential communication with anyone directly on their website. To support Press Freedom, Secure Connect is free for news sites so that whistleblowers can get in touch with journalists securely.

We develop Tutanota to fight for our right to privacy and for freedom of speech so donating Secure Connect to news sites and journalists, who defend free speech every day with their work, comes as a matter of course to us.

Check out our Demo of Secure Connect.

Secure Connect: Encrypted contact form for back-and-forth communication

Secure Connect is an open source encrypted communication tool which lets whistleblowers get in touch with the representative of a news site securely and anonymously. It can be added to any website like a standard contact form. The unique benefit is that all data entered into the contact form is automatically encrypted end-to-end before it is being sent to the mailbox of the website owner. Even files can be dropped into the form, which are then encrypted automatically.

As websites usually track IP addresses of visitors, an anonymous usage of Secure Connect can be achieved by accessing the website in question via the Tor browser. When a news site adds Secure Connect, the site should clearly state that whistleblowers must access the encrypted contact form via Tor to protect their identity.

Day of Press Freedom: Free communication tool for whistleblowers

To support the crucial work of journalists and whistleblowers, our encrypted contact form Secure Connect will be free for journalists to place on their websites. We believe in the Human Rights to Privacy and Freedom of Speech – and a secure and private form to communicate online is critical to achieve free speech. With Secure Connect we want to support journalists, activists and whistleblowers for the important work they are doing for all of us.

Read these testimonials from journalists and bloggers.

In this video, prepared for RightsCon 2021, we demonstrate how news sites have added Secure Connect to their websites.

As easy as any contact form

This new tool powered by the encrypted email service Tutanota enables literally every blog to offer an encrypted communication channel to potential whistleblowers and activists, without having to set up or maintain their own server for this. As all data is automatically encrypted locally on the device (end-to-end encryption), neither the service provider Tutanota nor any other third party can access this information.

Secure Connect – how it works

When a news site has added Secure Connect to their website, potential whistleblowers can simply go to that page – best via Tor to protect their identity – and type in the information and drop files they would like to submit to the news site. Secure Connect gives them a random, anonymous email address and a password, which lets the whistleblower re-access his sent message at a later stage and check for replies from the news site.

By using Secure Connect, the whistleblower can open a secure and anonymous communication channel without using a personal email address or phone number.

Secure Connect - technical instructions

When someone starts to communicate with you via the encrypted contact form Secure Connect, the entire communication will be encrypted end-to-end. Encryption takes place locally in the browser so that no third party - not even we as the provider of Secure Connect - can access this information.

How to start an encrypted communication channel via Secure Connect

  1. Click on Create Request.
  2. Enter a subject line.
  3. Choose a password and repeat the password. In case you want to check for replies later, write down the password somewhere safe.
  4. Enter your message.
  5. Drag and drop files into the message field or click on the symbol in the top right corner to attach files. They are automatically attached to the message.
  6. In case you want to be notified about replies, enter an email address at the end. This is optional. If you want to stay anonymous we recommend not entering an email address here.
  7. Click on Send in the top right corner.
  8. A random email address for your encrypted communication channel has been created. Write down this email address (and the previously chosen password) to re-access your encrypted communication channel later.

While sending the encrypted message via Secure Connect, Tutanota automatically creates a mailbox for the sender with an automatically generated email address of your custom email domain. The sender can login with the selected password to read your reply and also reply again. With Secure Connect an encrypted communication channel has been established that is both easy to use and secure.

How to configure Secure Connect as a website owner

You can configure most of your version of Secure Connect (text, style, links etc.) yourself to adapt it to your Corporate Identity. You can even enter texts in different languages to cover different nationalities of your website visitors.

Preconditions to set up a Secure Connect encrypted contact form:

When you order the whitelabel feature, you have two options: The whitelabel feature is already included in the Pro subscription. Alternatively, you can order it separately in your Premium account. Journalists get Secure Connect for free by contacting press@tutao.de with supplying a link to their website. NPOs get the business version of Tutanota at half price which includes Premium, whitelabel and Secure Connect.

Easy to add for any website

For the first time, also smaller news agencies and blogs of Human Rights activists can offer a secure communication channel for potential whistleblowers because Secure Connect is so easy to add to any blog.

Fight for Press Freedom

We hope that Secure Connect will help journalists and activists across the world to fight for Press Freedom, Freedom of Speech and our Right to Privacy.

To fight for these fundamental human rights has been our mission since we have started building the encrypted email service Tutanota, and it is a value shared throughout our community.

We are happy that we can now support journalists and whistleblowers around the world with our software donation. Together we will stop illegal mass surveillance!