DEFMS: For a distributed, encrypted and free email delivery network#

Feb 24, 2018

2 min read

Let’s have a closer look at the current implementation of our global email delivery system.

It scaled out from the very early stage of our network while all mail addresses was summed up in a paper book to our current multi-billion addresses directory quite impressively, the workload and delivery effort is mostly shared across the few biggest current IT and telecom companies and the required bandwidth and data effort is duplicated between all sender, receivers and intermediates of the transmission. Content encryption or signature is still a marginal practice and while normally not accessible by a random tiers, the relevant intermediates and providers do not hesitate to monitor and analyze our day to day exchanges. Content is easily reversible, which so prevent (or at least should prevent) them to have any juridical value.

As of today, we used the available technologies and paradigms to scale from an inter-lab experiment to a multi-billion connection delivery network, but as new paradigms and technologies arrived, we now have all the tools to create a new email delivery network, compatible with the current protocols, that better suits our everyday needs.

Regarding how fast the importance of this media grew up those past two decades, one would now want to be able to rely on multiple sources for the storage and transport of his messages without having to necessarily trust those third-parties, one would also like to guaranty the integrity, the consistency and the immutability in time of his exchanges with someone. An entirely distributed, partly encrypted and free mail exchange system would allow us to communicate directly with the concerned receivers without restrictions of size, number, consistency or availability of the exchanged messages. Applications are numerous but more importantly this will help us reducing the total amount of storage and bandwith required by mail exchanges.

As encryption, peer to peer and data immutability are already widespread principles one remaining pain-point is in the compatibility with our existing systems and protocols. Such a compatibility with actual mail protocols will be achieved by non-ditributed gateway servers, this long-term temporary solution will encrypt and forward all email from standard MX systems to and from DEFMS.