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Why is privacy important?

There's a problem with digital communications today: too many people believe that privacy is dead. And a lot of them think the "death" of privacy will create a safer world. But privacy is not about hiding crimes, it is about controlling your personal information.

Splintermail's mission is to deliver privacy to every email user.

Email without Encryption

Let's pretend that you are a user of a certain popular company. We don't want to name names, so we will refer to this company as a Surveillance Company Hiding Malintent Under a Convenient Service (or "schmucs", for short). Now pretend that you received the following email at your account confirming an unfortunate medical condition:

Subject: Positive Diagnosis
From:    HerpesClinic <>
To:      You <>
Date:    Wed, 4 Jul 1984 12:00:00

Dear Human,

We are writing in response to the tests you
took last week in our clinic. We regret to
inform you that you do have the herpes virus.

Herpes Clinic

Oooh... I'm sorry to hear that.

Now even though you haven't committed a crime, you probably don't want just anybody to read that email. It's a private matter, right?

But the Terms of Service clearly states that they are going to read through your emails. So then later, when you show Mom something online, she starts to wonder why all the advertisements you receive (which are controlled by are for herpes medications.

Well, good-bye, privacy. You should know that this sort of thing really does happen.

Email with Traditional Encryption

Let's suppose that the Herpes Clinic is very concerned about about your privacy, and they sent you an email using traditional GPG encryption. This is how it might look instead:

Subject: Positive Diagnosis
From:    HerpesClinic <>
To:      You <>
Date:    Wed, 4 Jul 1984 12:00:00


Phew, good thing nobody could possibly infer your condition from that email. Except, wait... traditional GPG encryption doesn't encrypt any of the email metadata, which is pretty damning in this case. Most people without herpes probably aren't communicating with the Herpes Clinic, and it in this case the subject line says as much as the entire message. In fact, it is common for the metadata of your communications to contain critically sensitive information. Metadata needs to be encrypted too!

Email with Splintermail Encryption

Now suppose that you received the same email to your Splintermail email account. This is how we would store your email:


When everything is encrypted, there is nothing to analyze. Your private information stays private.

Splintermail believes in liberty and privacy, and will never allow a 3rd party track you through our website.