Pasadena, Calif. (CBS SACRAMENTO) — A new encrypted email service is designed to block out any and all third parties, including government surveillance agencies such as the NSA, from reading messages.

The email service ProtonMail vows to block third parties and the government from creeping through one’s inbox and messages. The recipient of emails must enter a password to decode and read the messages as part of a service influenced by research responding to the National Security Agency leaks from Edward Snowden, CBS News reports.

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“Whenever I was writing email, I was thinking that I was basically putting it as a headline in a newspaper,” said Cal Tech professor Maria Spiropulu, whose student designed ProtonMail.

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The company is based in Switzerland where strict privacy laws protect consumer data because the emails are encrypted between the sender and recipient — not even ProtonMail itself can read content stored on its server. The email service features a self-destructing email function similar to Snapchat photos that disappear seconds after they’ve been viewed.

“Even if we are compelled to hand over your user data, all we can give people is completely encrypted information that only the original recipient can read,” ProtonMail co-founder Jason Stockman explained to CBS. “Existing services you kind of trust them to keep your data secure and private but they keep the lock and key, but with ProtonMail you hold the lock and key.”

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Spiropulu said the email is “truly secure as can be with the technology we have today,” and she is one of more than 400,000 worldwide users testing ProtonMail’s Beta service.