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Old 18 May 2022, 05:53 AM   #1
TenFour
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Skiff mail encrypted and simple?

Hadn't heard of this service until today. Looks like they have a pretty robust free version with 10GB of storage. https://skiff.com/

Seem to have plenty of funding, though everytime I read the word "decentralized" I think of crypto and NFT scams. Hopefully this isn't another one. https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/30/sk...ed-workspaces/
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Old 18 May 2022, 11:17 AM   #2
ioneja
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First I've heard of it too. Thanks for the heads up on this. Looks like it has good potential from my first quick view.
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Old 18 May 2022, 03:51 PM   #3
janusz
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One of their offerings: IPFS stands for the Interplanetary File System. Modesty isn't skiff's main feature
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Old 18 May 2022, 07:14 PM   #4
TenFour
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Here's an article on Skiff email: https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/17/2...-email-privacy
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Old 18 May 2022, 10:55 PM   #5
emoore
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I searched their web site and didn't find any mention of support for exporting contacts or email. Just lots of stuff about web3 protocol layers and ways to import from competitors. My best guess is you need to use commands for the mutable file system to do that.
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Old 18 May 2022, 11:24 PM   #6
janusz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoore View Post
I searched their web site and didn't find any mention of support for exporting contacts or email.
Why should they make it easy to migrate to a competitor?
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Old 18 May 2022, 11:31 PM   #7
Fenman
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It also doesn't say, as far as I can see, which are the other planets involved: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/interplanetary
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Old 18 May 2022, 11:47 PM   #8
ioneja
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I signed up for an account to test them out and it's very simple at this point, but shows some potential. It's a long way to good functionality from what I can see so far though. Their "decentralized" collaborative workspaces/document editor is actually more interesting to me at this point.

However, after reading through their privacy policy, terms of service, and acceptable use policy, I was pretty surprised to see how much information they collect about you, considering they are marketing themselves as a "privacy" oriented service. This was disappointing to say the least, but it's obviously still better than Google, etc.

What alarms me in a broader sense is this recent movement by Silicon Valley types and venture capital firms to take over, co-opt and/or rebrand the idea of what "privacy" means in cloud infrastructure. They casually throw around the terms end-to-end encryption, cryptocurrency, open source, etc... and when you read their privacy policy, it is anything but. I expect we'll be seeing more and more of these kind of services that wrestle with the fundamental meaning of "privacy" and twist it into a slick polished package that uses all the right catch phrases, but is actually far from "private."

So I'm highly skeptical of this service in terms of real "privacy" based on their own published policies (which are quite invasive and contradictory compared to some other "privacy" oriented providers IMO). Add that to their venture capital trajectory, terrible jurisdiction, international data transfer clause, etc., and despite all their assurances, best intentions, and marketing... it's kind of a slick San Francisco/Silicon Valley version of "privacy" that I wouldn't want to use for anything important.

Anyway, I signed up for a free account and will keep an eye on it, and I appreciate TenFour for posting about it, but for anything that I consider more "private" (and BTW 100% true "privacy" doesn't exist), I'll definitely skip it.
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Old 24 May 2022, 10:26 PM   #9
SideshowBob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janusz View Post
One of their offerings: IPFS stands for the Interplanetary File System. Modesty isn't skiff's main feature
It doesn't look like Skiff has much to do with it other then using it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterP...ry_File_System
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Old 26 May 2022, 09:59 PM   #10
dantheman
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Skiff officially launched on May 17 - 2022.

Just discovered Skiff yesterday.

Was surprised to see the first post about it here by TenFour, on the same day it was officially launched:

https://skiff.com/blog/mail-launch

IPFS is also incorporated into Brave browser as an option (which is how i discovered this new email service).
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Old 1 Feb 2023, 03:10 AM   #11
TenFour
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Is anyone using Skiff actively? I signed up for an account and it went quickly and easily. At a glance it appears to have some nice features, even at the free level. For example, you can add various aliases to your account, there's a calendar, cloud drive, and a simple notetaking/document creator called Pages. Upgrades to Pro or Business accounts get pricey quickly at $10 or $15 per month. If you pay annually you can get those down to $8 and $12 per month. You need to go to the Pro plan in order to use your own domain.
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Old 1 Feb 2023, 03:53 AM   #12
ioneja
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I use it semi-actively, but not for anything mission critical. I'm still skeptical, BUT they have been going in the right direction since my prior post in this thread. The CEO seems like a really nice guy, and has been very responsive. They have made some huge improvements in the last several months, aggressively rolling out updates to their apps, and adding user-requested features.

I think if people think of them as a US-based competitor to Proton and Tutanota, that would be a fair comparison. Although Skiff is way more aggressive in feature development IMO, already surpassing Tutanota in several areas, at least in terms of features on paper. Sometimes they are not very well implemented, but they keep on refining things so it's more positive than negative.

The biggest problem (besides their jurisdiction), is that their encryption is not interoperable with other encrypted email providers, if that matters to you. However, the same can be said of Tutanota.

Overall, I am still skeptical, but it is nice to see the real progress, and I think any kind of privacy-oriented service on the market should be welcome. Skiff has potential, at least that's how I feel as of January 2023. My revised opinion of them is definitely more optimistic, although you can't get away from the fact they're US based.
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Old 1 Feb 2023, 05:29 AM   #13
TenFour
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Apparently Skiff is now blocked in Russia. https://techcrunch.com/2023/01/30/russia-skiff-block/
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Old 1 Feb 2023, 10:49 PM   #14
dantheman
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Guess they'll have to put out a basic free VPN service like Proton now.
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Old 1 Feb 2023, 11:07 PM   #15
ioneja
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I bet you're right, I wouldn't be surprised. That's the next logical part of the privacy package.
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