MailPile, an open-source email client that will offer “user-friendly encryption”, has smashed its $100,000 target for funding on Indiegogo with two weeks left to run on its campaign.
The company will be established in Iceland, which offers fast transatlantic internet links, but without the regulatory demands imposed upon companies by the US or European Union.
The packages range from $1 for supporters to $16,384 for “venture communists”, although none of these packages (out of two) has yet been claimed. “If you get this perk, we will hire an Android application developer to start binding Mailpile into a native app as soon as Mailpile’s outward facing APIs are stable.”
The company was established by three Icelandic “open source veterans” and “privacy advocates, who believe that the internet requires better, more secure web mail”.
“Edward Snowden’s recent leaks were a wake-up call, confirming what many had long suspected, that the troves of email stored on our behalf by Google, Microsoft and others are irresistible targets for those who would like to invade our privacy, be they criminals or overzealous government organizations like the NSA,” claims their pitch.
It continues: “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.”
Because the software they plan to develop will be open source, anyone will be able to examine it and to satisfy themselves that it does not contain any back doors.
The popularity of MailPile was arguably been boosted by the reports of widespread internet surveillance perpetrated by governments across the world including, most pervasively, by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s GCHQ.
The company has raised more than $120,000 on Indiegogo and promises to work on an Android client once the webmail project is completed, as well as SMTP and IMAP support.
The Alpha release has been promised for January 2014.