Mailpile Team Wants To "Take Back Email"

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Software Developers in Iceland are developing a free encrypted open source email service to compete with large email providers.
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A few software developers from Iceland have come together to start a project developing an intuitive email client that is secure with encryption. Once more, they have made it open source with customizable themes and so forth. So can Mailpile and the community they build behind it take email back?
Their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, a site that helps people fund projects, raised more than $160,000, which well exceeded their $100,000 goal, and their video is convincing. Mailpile's team also raised 4 bitcoins, a new unregulated peer-to-peer digital currency. 

The pitch to investors and community supporters is quite enticing from the user or consumer's perspective. The planned email service is expected to be ad-free, a departure from the email and cloud service Goliaths like Google, Yahoo and Outlook (formerly Hotmail/MSN Mail). The entrepreneurs behind Mailpile cited a need to compete with these companies and advocate a safer, more secure email service. Brennan Novak is the User Interface Designer. Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson is the Tech Lead. Smári McCarthy is the Privacy & Encryption Guru. The Mailpile team said the way email is being used right now is more akin to sending a postcard than sending a letter because hackers and others can retrieve your message contents as was recently evidenced by the recent WikiLeaks-Snowden-NSA spying scandals. In their analogy, malicious hackers or intrusive governments are possible culprits of such behavior and the information isn't properly encrypted to ensure this doesn't happen. Mailpile is their proposed solution.

In "The State of Email" section of their Indiegogo pitch, the bold founders outline the reason for their open source project: 
"These companies base their businesses on controlling our data and communications and are never going to do the one thing that would protect our mail from the snoops: encrypt it. So, if we want to take control of our email, if we want privacy and encryption, we have to do it ourselves."

The Mailpile team has only developed a working model for Mac and Linux users, but they vowed to develop for Windows if they met their funding goal. Their proposed service will include an open source web-mail client installed on a computer or in the cloud, a modern and intuitive interface, support for both OpenPGP and S/MIME encryption and signatures, a search engine, multiple language support, and a customizable developer platform that includes plugin architecture, support for themes, alternate user interfaces and documentation.

This free, community-powered email will also be ad-free. 
Mailpile is "self hosted", meaning that you can run it on your laptop or desktop computer, Raspberry PI or a server in the cloud. You could also put it on a USB stick and make it portable.

The developers also claim that Mailpile performs faster than the cloud and that it can perform at great speed even on slow computers by utilizing "clever algorithms and disciplined code". 
Privacy was one the project's foremost priorities. Mailpile is set to include the ability to store mail on the devices that the user controls and encrypts it for sharing access privileges. There will also be a feature to encrypt it locally, in case one of those devices is stolen or lost. 
Mailpile is still in development and their website stays freshly updated to let the community know what development stages the team is in. There is no anticipated release date yet.

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