encryption

Another Reason to Ditch Google

flag usa controls security camera

There’s no such thing as bad PR, right? US Attorney General William Barr accused Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft of working directly with the Chinese government. Reuters reports on the three tech giants’ involvement with the Chinese Communist Party. While I don’t buy into hype and hysteria, tech companies have shown a strong willingness to work with intelligence agencies in the past. User data is up for grabs and privacy is a fairy tale notion in the United States.

I listed off numerous reasons why users should ditch Gmail or use Linux friendly cloud services. This accusation by AG Barr is just another reason why users should be mindful of who they trust their data with and where it is stored.

Better Email: MsgSafe.io

Msgsafe Featured

After comparing Tutanota and Protonmail, I found several providers have popped up to offer private, encrypted email. Msgsafe.io promises similar encrypted, privacy focused email.

Pricing is comparable to Tutanota. Both services provide 1 GB for free. Msgsafe imposes a limit of 25 daily outbound emails on the free tier. Protonmail is a little skimpy with the free data but still allows 150 emails daily. Paid pricing is on par with Tutanota and Protonmail as well.

These domains are a trademark nightmare.

I complained about the terrible default domain names elsewhere. Its easy to tell someone Gmail or Outlook. Tutanota.com is a mouth full and will require spelling it out every single time. Msgsafe tries to offer familiar domains but some reak of a trademark dispute. Yahooweb.co and Outlookpro.net are too similar to their snooping namesakes to be recommended. There are still a couple dozen other options like msgsafe.io, messagesafe.ninja, and speakfreely.legal. Each plan allows additional “identities” or email addresses. I find this helpful for sorting email. Helpful for when you write about tech during the day but you’re a ninja by night.

Msgsafe supports custom domains. Given the available domains, its not a bad idea. Paid plans include a credit towards a custom domain.

During signup, users may specify a country of origin. Outgoing emails will originate from said country like the United States, Singapore, Germany, or the Netherlands. I went with Germany despite living in the US.

The Msgsafe inbox is standard fare. Notice at the top there are links for Email, Compose, Chat, and Contacts. Msgsafe will store your contact list.

Chat is enabled between Msgsafe users only. You’ll need to know the email address before chatting. Msgsafe advertises it as a secure, end to end encrypted alternative to Facetime or Google Duo. Sadly, I don’t know anyone on Msgsafe to test it.

Nothing is Ever Free

Msgsafe doesn’t display any obnoxious ads but it does give you, free of charge, a lot signature that you can’t change. Well, without upgrading of course.

Sent using MsgSafe.io’s Free Plan. Private, end-to-end encrypted, online communication. For everyone. https://www.msgsafe.io

Its a small price to pay for free, encrypted email and chat.

Curaçao

Normally, encrypted or privacy focused services tend to be located in Europe. The General Data Protection Regulation helps enforce some of the strictest privacy laws in the world. Msgsafe is less forthcoming about server location than other providers are. A little research revealed that Msgsafe’s servers are located in Curaçao.

Personal Data Protection Act of Curaçao ensures that personal privacy is respected and protected. Curaçao, formerly under the Netherlands, often follows Dutch law and its privacy law is no different.

Desktop Support

While Protonmail has its Bridge and Tutanota has programs for everything, Msgsafe is a strictly webmail based service on the desktop. Apps will soon be available for Android and iOS. Msgsafe is accepting testers for the mobile apps now.

Conclusion

Msgsafe is a close competitor to more widely known providers like Protonmail. The use of identities to add multiple email addresses to one inbox is a handy feature. The pricing is acceptable but the application support is not. I will not recommend Msgsafe until more of the service comes out of testing.

What email service do you use? Tell me in the comments below.

Linux Friendly Cloud Services in 2020

Cloud services

There are so many cloud services, its practically raining them.  Bah duh.  Awful dad joke aside, there are countless cloud services that allow for seamless syncing from device to device.  What is lacking, however, is Linux compatible services.  Most popular services like Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud only work with Windows and MacOS.  Being the FOSS friendly folks that we are, we wouldn’t really want to rely on those anyway.

Every service on this list offers a native Linux client.  Not some work around.  Not a paid third party application.  Only legit Linux compatible programs.

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