Russia blocks encrypted mail service Tutanota

Russia has been blocking the Tutanota e-mail service since Friday. The company points out that the country is also already blocking other encrypted email services, which Tutanota says is an attempt to prevent Russian citizens from using secure communication channels online.

Tutanota points to, among other things, Ooni Explorer, a tool that tracks censorship on the internet. This would show that the service is blocked in parts of Russia. Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecom watchdog, usually reports similar blockades, but this has not been forthcoming. Partly because of this, it is still unclear why the service is now blocked in Russia.

The German company behind the service condemns the recent Russian blockade and calls it a form of censorship of Russian citizens as they lose another encrypted mail service. The service can still be used via a VPN or the Tor browser. The company says on Twitter that it plans to create a dedicated Tor service for Tutanota and that it may need to prioritize this now.

Tutanota is an encrypted webmail provider, using open source technology to provide end-to-end encryption and encrypt the entire mailbox. The company makes money from donations and paid subscriptions. Russia is not the only country to target the service: Egypt has been blocking Tutanota since October last year.