For internet users who are looking for privacy, email service Tutanota is developing a suite of tools designed to replace the Google ecosystem.
Google dominates online communication through Gmail and related cloud storage services. Gmail alone has over one billion active users worldwide.
Tutanota has over a million users. It aims to empower journalists, NGOs, activists and individuals who want to protect private communications and data. Its mission is to replace the tech giant’s products by offering free end-to-end encrypted webmail, calendar, notes and cloud storage. When Tutanota users send emails to anyone in the world, it automatically encrypts the subject, content and all attachments.
“In our digital age all-round surveillance has become alarmingly easy. I write code to protect our data from today’s Orwellian threats,” says Bernd, a developer and designer at Tutanota.
Based in Hanover, Germany, the community project is reaching out to developers around the world to help build its suite of tools, and calling upon crypto enthusiasts and privacy advocates who can make donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero and Ethereum from anywhere in the world.
The new beta version of the Android app incorporates key features of its new client: reduced loading time, improved speed, improved design and 2FA support (TOTP). Most importantly, it achieved the development team’s primary goal of being completely independent of Google. “It is very important to us that everyone can leave Google completely,” reads Tutanota’s statement. “Thus, getting rid of Google’s push service was our top priority when rebuilding our secure mail app from scratch. We are very happy that we have managed to replace Google’s GCM for push so that the new app has no connection to Google anymore.”
Tutanota bills itself as a completely anonymous email service. It does not log IP addresses upon sign in, sell data, track users or ask for phone numbers. It also strips the IP addresses from emails sent and received for privacy reasons.
Critics of US data protection laws argue that the CLOUD Act, enacted in March, enables US law enforcement agencies to encroach on user privacy by collecting records from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and elsewhere by warrant or subpoena, from domestic or foreign servers.
Google says it has a long history of protecting user data and developing internet security. “We respect the privacy of the data you store with Google. That is why we never give any government entity, U.S. or otherwise, ‘backdoor’ access to your data or to our servers storing your data. When we receive requests for data from law enforcement agencies, our legal team rejects requests that are invalid and pushes back when requests are overly broad. And we work hard to inform businesses about these requests as soon as we can, barring emergency circumstances or where we are prohibited by the legal nature of the request. We are open about these data requests in our Transparency Report.”
— Monero || #xmr (@monero) July 9, 2018
Monero, which is now being accepted by Tutanota for contributions, is among several leading cryptocurrencies, including Dash and Zcash, designed to protect user privacy.