IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #2 Bitmask

Bitmask is an open source desktop app that aims to be an intuitive and easy-to-use client for VPN and Encrypted Email.

Bitmask is a project developed by LEAP, a non-profit dedicated to giving all internet users access to secure communication, with a focus on making encryption technology easy to use and widely available. LEAP is trying to make it possible for any service provider to easily deploy secure services and for people to use these services without needing to learn new software or change their behavior.

This week LEAP will be launching Bitmask 0.9.5, with a focus on the Encrypted Email capability.  The goal is to lower significantly the access barrier and contribute to make mass adoption of encrypted email a reality in the short term. Since email is the only existing universal and open protocol for asynchronous communications, LEAP aims to improve the adoption of encrypted communications, and in particular encrypted email.  Encrypting this already existing mean of communication seems a prerequisite for furthering the resistance to pervasive surveillance, and is addressing the current needs of millions of persons that exchange sensitive information over email in clear text every day.

PGP-encrypted email has been traditionally posed as the de-facto standard for securing email, but the usability factor has become a deep obstacle for its adoption. LEAP wants to change that, together with other modern efforts to improve the status of encrypted email.

Like free speech, the right to whisper is an necessary precondition for a free society. Without it, civil society and political freedom become impossible. As the importance of digital communication for civic participation increases, so does the importance of the ability to digitally whisper. LEAP is devoted to making the ability to whisper available to all internet users.

Bitmask Encrypted Email does opportunistic mail encryption, with transparent OpenPGP key discovery and management. It exposes a local IMAP and SMTP encrypting proxy so that any mail is automatically encrypted, with the ability of using any Mail User Agent (like Thunderbird) against the service. Bitmask also ships a modern web interface to access your encrypted mail locally.