We believe that email should be encrypted.
We believe that more users would use email encryption if existing encryption tools were easy to use.
We are here to build and promote such tools.

Kinko

Kinko is an easy-to-use accessible secure pgp-proxy.

What is the Kinko idea?

Taking crypto out of email clients: Kinko sits between your email client and your internet, encrypting outgoing and decrypting incoming mail. You don't have to change your email client! Thus making email encryption easy enough for everyone to use.
Your emails in a safe place – in your home: Kinko stores your emails on an encrypted filesystem on your own hardware.
Wherever you go – your email is secure: Kinko uses a combination of DynDNS, ssh tunneling and OpenSSL certificates to give you safe access to your mails, whereever you are.

Standing on the shoulders of Giants

The basic idea behind this project is to combine existing tools into a single project and not to solve problems again that have been solved already years ago.

Remember that we are dealing here with DNS, email transport, and encryption. There are good tools in each of those areas. And we are unbelievably happy that we can use those tools today to build what we think is the best way to make crypto approachable to users.

Let’s have a look at what’s in the box.

  • The first thing we need is an IMAP server. There are a number of IMAP servers – we decided on Dovecot [1].
  • Then we need an SMTP server. Our SMTP server is different from what you would use on a “real” server: our server must work synchronously, must be able to filter mail via an external program, and must support different servers to forward to depending on the sender’s email address. This is a requirement that does not exist in “regular” mail servers, and consequently we couldn’t find any. We therefore built our own.
  • Then we want to synchronize emails. Both isync [2] and OfflineIMAP [3] looked good. We settled on OfflineIMAP, mainly because it claims to better support Google Mail, and added a filtering ability.
  • Then the tunnel: after playing with (and really liking) ngrok [4] we settled on ssh [5] and autossh [6], which, well, just feels like the right tools.
  • and then GnuPG [7], which of course is the open source implementation of OpenPGP.


And last (but not least) we need an OS to run on our box. Not really surprising this will be a Linux [8]. We haven’t settled down which distribution our box will be based on; but Linux is an easy choice: it not only runs a large proportion of the net, but it also runs on smallish hardwares.

More Information...

... is waiting for you on the Kinko project website here: https://kinko.me/ [9]