The NSA warrantless wiretapping revelations have caused the general public to reconsider how they communicate online, but even if a nontechnical person wanted to communicate more securely it's tough to find a user-friendly solution. Our readers may be reminded of Sweden's Heml.is, which crowdfunded and is currently building a secure mobile messaging app. Also hopping on this trend, a Reykjavik, Iceland based team is crowdfunding a webmail client with a security-focused twist.
The project, called Mailpile, has already reached its $100,000 goal, and currently has over $117,000 raised with 15 days left in their round. They're building a free software web-mail program that you run on your own computer, putting your data into your own hands.
"By making secure communication understandable and less prone to human error, we hope to improve the security of human rights activists, journalists and whistle-blowers the world over and do our part to make the world a better place," they write on their campaign page.
Behind the project are Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson, Brennan Novak and Smári McCarthy. Einarsson has spent some time at Google fighting spam and viruses at Google's site reliability team, Novak is focusing on the UI, and McCarthy is the security expert in the group, working as a director of the International Modern Media Institute.
The team hopes to have the 1.0 released by summer of 2014. Their code can be found on Github to check out.