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96 - Private Communications

A long long time ago (8 years) three crazy people started a project called Zappata. I was one of them. It started as a super RSS reader (RSS bring hot new technology) and morphed into a peer to peer email server that used authentication via its own implementation of DNS servers with a Public Key Infrastructure, encryption but still was usable by just using a regular email client. Sadly, it never got of the ground - you can - if you are interested - read some of the things I have written about Zappata in the past.

The most important piece is “the private net” back in 2008. It was born out of frustration over Google and its strong arming techniques, and frankly, this hasn’t changed for the better. Out of the measures I propagated back then, I only kept one: I still run my private mail servers - I just don’t want Google to have full access to my email.

Recently I stumbled upon the Retroshare project. It’s a friend to friend private network, with chat, email, forums, file sharing and a lot more functionality. It’s a bit clunky to set up, has a UI that only a programmer could love  but it seems to get the job done - the job being: Private communications.

So far I have only convinced two of my friends to install it, but I’d love to get rid of Skype or AIM for chat, and email for private communications. So if you know me, want to communicate with me, please do investigate Retroshare and contact me for the necessary key exchange and signing.

My good friend Benjamin Stein has written a (german) novel, set in a very near future, where he looks at what technology that records and playbacks everything direct to the brain will do to society.

If you read german, go and buy Replay (Amazon.de) - and then think about what you can do to go private.

Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician