3 mins

Davemail, Decentralized Encrypted Communication on Git

Avatar Gautham 4 years ago

Anonymity and privacy are hard to come by in today’s version of the Internet. The governments and its cloak and dagger machinery have been keeping a constant watch on the usage of internet, even going through the communication between people. In such times, any form of communication that promises privacy, security and anonymity is most welcome. Davemail is one communication platform created by ‘David Apple’ which promises all of the above.

Available on GitHub, Davemail is a decentralized, encrypted and anonymous offline messaging platform for git. The platform, created using Yeoman Webapp Generator is designed with one and only mission – To empower the individuals by helping them reclaim their right to have a private communication. While the right to privacy is a basic fundamental right, it doesn’t apply in the virtual world as long as people continue to use online communication services provided by big corporations. Bigger the service provider, more information they hold on their servers, which makes them a one-stop shop for the government agencies to tap into and access all the information they want. In fact, the present day governments have rules and legislations in place which allow them to violate individual privacy legally.

It is a well-known fact that the age-old email protocols like SMTP- Simple Mail Transfer Protocol are already compromised as the data transfer happens in the form of a simple text and anyone listening in can access the complete message. And then there are communication services that use PGP encryption. As the name suggests, it is a ‘Pretty Good Privacy’ protocol, not the ‘best’ privacy protocol.

PGP encryption protocol is better than SMTP in few aspects as it encrypts the message content. However, it needs a non-deterministic private key pair used for encrypting the data for decryption as well. The metadata still escapes encryption, and can be intercepted if required.

In order to overcome these issues and make communication completely secure, Davemail uses RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) encryption protocol instead of other encryption protocols, to offer a more secure option to most of it. The data sent through the communication channel will be stored in json format, decentralized using git. Decentralization of the whole process offers an additional layer of security, a parallel that can be drawn to bitcoin protocol which is known for the highest levels of security and immutability by default.

The use of git repository make the whole decentralization and anonymizing process easier by allowing it to be cloned and hosted on any computer with the SSH details published in a json file.

In terms of usability, the platform hides all the complex string of encryption and decryption keys, so that the user can have a better experience. In addition, once the message is committed and synced, the communication can be accessed offline as well, which offers another layer of security by preventing surveillance using keyloggers and other similar monitoring methods.

Davemail definitely opens up an interesting avenue in the online communication segment, however, there is still a question of adoption and that will decide whether it will be as big a success as blockchain technology or fade away into oblivion over time.

Ref: GitHub | Image: Mail (Credits: UAE-Dragon)
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