[p2p-hackers] ePOST: Secure, Severless Email

Alan Mislove amislove at rice.edu
Thu May 5 13:09:15 PDT 2005

As some of you may know, the FreePastry group at Rice University is
developing ePOST, a secure, decentralized, p2p email system. The service
is provided cooperatively by the user's desktop computers, and ePOST
provides better security and fault tolerance than existing email systems.
Email exchanged between ePOST users is cryptographically sealed and
authenticated and the service remains available even when traditional mail
servers have failed. ePOST gives users plenty of email storage (users can
use as much as they contribute of their own disk space). Moreover, users
don't have to entrust their email to a commercial provider, who may mine
thier data, target them with advertisement or start charging them once
they're hooked. ePOST has been running as the primary email system for
members of our group for over a year.

ePOST works by joining a peer-to-peer network running a personal IMAP and
SMTP server on your desktop, which is only for your email.  ePOST is
backward compatible with existing email systems, and your ePOST email
address works just like a normal email address - you can send and receive
messages from non-ePOST users.   Additionally, you can use your existing
email clients with ePOST, since ePOST provides standard IMAP and POP3

A few of other features of ePOST are:
- support for SSL connections
- a data durability layer called Glacier, providing durability with up to
  60% member node failures
- support for laptops and machines behind NATs
- support for networks with routing anomalies

More information about ePOST is available at http://www.epostmail.org/.

We now welcome additional ePOST users.  If you are interested in seting up
an ePOST account, please follow the installation instructions posted at
http://www.epostmail.org/install.html. Most ePOST users have set up mail
forwarding so that a copy of incoming mails are kept on their normal mail
server, in addition to being forwarded to their ePOST account.  We
recommend this setup until ePOST is no longer in beta status, although we
have not found an instance yet where using this backup was necessary to
recover a lost email.

Also, please let us know if you are interested in running a local ePOST
ring at your institution.  Running such a ring allows organizations to
ensure all overlay traffic remains internal to the organization, while
maintaining global connectivity.  More information on running an
organizational ring is available at http://www.epostmail.org/deploy.html.

We are currently collecting high-level statistics from all of the ePOST
nodes in our deployment for research purposes. These statistics concern
the number of overlay messages sent and the amount of data stored on disk.
We are not recording the plain text of emails, nor are we examining which
users are exchanging emails.  If the collection of statistics would
prevent you from using ePOST, please don't hesitate to contact us, and we
can turn these features off for you.

Thanks again for your help, and don't hesitate to ask us any questions,
comments, or suggestions,

Alan Mislove, Ansley Post, Andreas Haeberlen, and Peter Druschel

(epost-team at rice.epostmail.org)
p2p-hackers mailing list
p2p-hackers at zgp.org
Here is a web page listing P2P Conferences:

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