Introducing Meshenger

An open source, decentralised email and chat platform under development.

Iota network can be used as a carrier for any kind of data. Personally, I need a decentralized email service that won’t read my letters for its product placement tricks (side-effect: NSA won’t spy me). This service will be something average between classical email and classical chat, the messages will be received by me only if I keep Iota node software running. If I can’t run such software I can pay to retrieve (encrypted) letters from nodes that provide storage service in exchange for iotas. I need your ideas about what types of services you need, so I could merge some of these services with mine.
November 26, 2015 - Come From Beyond https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1216479.msg13075903#msg13075903

The above quote from the bitcoin talk forum was written by Sergey Ivancheglo in late 2015. In this quote Sergey expressed the need for a decentralised email service that won’t read his letters. I am hoping to build a platform to provide that service, by creating an open source and community-maintained secure email and live chat service on top of the IOTA Protocol.

Background

Email is one of the most widely used services running on top of the internet today. The first email system was developed in 1971, and today more than 281 billion consumer and business emails are sent per day; estimated to grow to more than 333 billion by 2022. It is also estimated that 49.7% - practically half of all emails - are considered to be spam.

Currently there are a small number of large organisations for which the majority of email messages are sent to or received from. The top organisation is Apple; having a 29% share of the global email client market with its iPhone email client. Google comes in second with Gmail, which has 27% share of the global email client market; 1.5 billion Gmail users. Google reports that approximately 70% of the incoming messages are classified as Promotions by Gmail.

Problem

The problem with the current email service is that a few big players have access to the majority of all emails sent. This does not fit in a privacy first ideology, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we own our own data. By using a centralised email service such as Gmail, we are giving large organisations access to our private data. And there is a lot of data - in the current internet ecosystem we use our emails as an identity; to register accounts on almost all websites; to receive important notifications; private communications and much more. The data is not always sold, but the means to advertise to certain groups based on their data can be.

Solution

The solution to the above problem, is to create a decentralised and private email platform that only the sender and the receiver can read. However it also needs to be user friendly, easy to use and interoperable with existing clients.

To do this, Meshenger will be developing its email platform on the decentralised and distributed nature of IOTA and its Ict network. Everybody will then have a choice to run an open source email server themselves, or to decide which public servers they will rely on.

Vision

The vision of Meshenger is to create decentralised platform for secure email and live chat on top of the IOTA Protocol. That fits the following criteria:

Private

All messages sent will be encrypted and only the intended receivers will be able to unencrypt the message.

Open Source

The platform will be open source meaning that all source code will be online, visible to the public and free to download and use.

Community Maintained

The platform will be hosted on GitHub where it is encouraged that the IOTA community will help in maintaining the platform. Further to this we hope to be able to undertake the responsibility of a live chat service that is actively maintained by the community.

Interoperable

The email service will be interoperable with existing email clients where possible.

Next Steps

  1. Research email standards, protocols and architecture.
  2. Brainstorm how we can adapt the current email (internet) architecture for IOTA.
  3. List problems that we might need to solve.
  4. Explore and solve the problems that we listed.
  5. Define protocols for transmitting emails via the tangle.
  6. Design new email processing model.
  7. Develop ICT modules for a decentralised mail server.
  8. Develop lightweight mail user agent (client)
  9. Enhance…

Getting Involved

If you would like to get involved you can reach out on the following:
Discord: Clobba#6143
Twitter: https://twitter.com/meshenger
GitHub: https://github.com/gastrocole