[messaging] Mail UIs

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Sun Jan 10 05:03:58 PST 2016

> In the past, I've wondered if one should separate the mail receiving
> functionality from the mail archival functionality.

Yes. I had the same thought about a year ago. The justification is simple:

   1. Building a full blown mail UA with all the features needed is a ton
   of work.
   2. End to end encrypted email is really hard.
   3. Much mail of interest to adversaries is old, rather than
   communication happening right now.

Thus an obvious solution presents itself: write a program that downloads
old mail via POP or IMAP, erases it from the server, encrypts it and then
reuploads the now encrypted archives to some sort of cloud store like
Google Drive. The app can also build a (possibly also encrypted) local
search index so you can easily find old mails again.

I even started building it, but in the end decided to work on other

It'd make a nice little (possibly commercial) product for one or two
people. I'd write it in Kotlin, using JavaFX+WebView for rendering the
mails, Lucene for implement the local search engine, a Bitcoin style "here
are your 12 secret words" private key, and I've had UI flows optimised for
Gmail users as that way you can assume they have a GDrive for storing the
backups as well.

Finally, I'd make a mobile version that knows how to sync the encrypted
backups so you can rummage through your archives on the phone too.

The crypto isn't the hard part of all this, of course. Making it convenient
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