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Theme fund: Internet Hardening Fund
Start: 2017-02
End: 2019-05


A new encrypted, end-to-end email protocol

The DIME project has three distinct goals: to make end-to-end email encryption transparent and automatic, to minimize the leakage of metadata, and to enshrine the standards which make automation resistant to manipulation by advanced persistent threats. This has led to the development of a set of protocols and data formats which combine the best of current technologies into an integrated system that gives adequate protection, yet remains flexible. It allows for people to improve their security without sacrificing functionality.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

In today’s networked and asynchronous world, email continues to be at the heart of our online conversations, and despite its detractors, continues to grow in significance. Last year, over 2.6 billion people used email, exchanging nearly 205 billion messages per day. Yet the percentage of messages protected by end-to-end encryption remains so small, that it makes those who encrypt automatic "targets" and large-scale commercial adoption economically challenging. Email as it is currently being used is insecure, unreliable, and easily readable by any attacker in a post-Snowden world.

DIME seeks to establish an open standard capable of simultaneously providing security by default and preserving the benefits email users have come to expect. DIME follows in the footsteps of innovative email protocols, but takes advantage of the lessons learned during the 20-year history of PGP/GPG. DIME is federated, remains a store and forward medium, and allows strangers to contact each other securely. Anyone with a domain name can deploy a DIME compatible server and begin enjoying the benefits of DIME.

Run by Lavabit

Logo NLnet: abstract logo of four people seen from above Logo Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

This project was funded through the Internet Hardening Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.