Secure Emails for Everyone: Encryption Made Easy
Mynigma Computer Science Spin-off Company from Freie Universität Develops Free Program That Automatically Encrypts Emails
№ 215/2014 from Jun 12, 2014
Following revelations made by the former national intelligence agency employee Edward Snowden, private Internet users are also worrying that their email correspondence is not better protected than the text on the back of a postcard. Mynigma, a spin-off company from Freie Universität Berlin, now makes it possible for less experienced users to secure their messages and data encryption. The company founders Roman Priebe and Lukas Neumann developed an email program that does not treat encryption as an additional feature. There is no complicated configuration, but rather, the program is designed so that it completely automatically encrypts messages. The Mynigma email program is already available for Mac OS in the Mac App Store. An app for iOS, the operating system for iPhone and iPad, will soon follow, and versions for Windows and Android are being planned.
The program does not collect data about its users and does not show any advertising. Roman Priebe explains the philosophy behind this. "We want to give control of their own data back to the users. The NSA revelations have shown how difficult it is for individuals to protect their privacy on the Internet. Up to now, for programs that actually offer secure encryption, so much prior knowledge is required that they are basically used only by IT professionals." Mynigma is a simple and reliable alternative.
As opposed to popular programs, Mynigma uses real device-to-device encryption. The code required for decrypting remains on one's own device at all times; only the sender and the receiver can open the message. In addition, the subject line of an email is encrypted. The team uses a decentralized procedure for key exchange that was developed by Professor Volker Roth who leads the Secure Identity Group at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität.
The company founders are financing their project through the sale of a business version. For a monthly fee, companies can use it with little effort to protect their trade secrets, contracts, budgets, and customer data. Through donations, private users can support the development of new Mynigma versions for other devices.
Lukas Neumann, Mynigma UG (haftungsbeschränkt), Malteserstraße 74-100, 12249 Berlin, Tel: +49 176 3294 7835, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Homepage: mynigma.org/de and mynigma.org/de/MynigmaForBusiness.html (business version)
Mynigma UG (haftungsbeschränkt) was founded in July 2013 by Roman Priebe and Lukas Neumann. Roman Priebe (30) earned bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from the University of Cambridge before going on to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from Oxford University. Two years ago he started creating Mynigma. In addition, he works as a freelance iOS developer. Lukas Neumann (30) is earning a degree in mathematics at the Technical University of Berlin and is currently working on the Android version of Mynigma. The scientific mentor of the start-up is Professor Volker Roth, who heads the Secure Identity Group at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin. The Mynigma team received support from Profund, the start-up support service at Freie Universität Berlin.