Skiff Mail provider

Skiff recently open sourced their cryptographic library:

Can someone please explain what’s the implication of this?
Does this, in any way, make it easier for email clients like Delta Chat can support Skiff Mail as provider?
Thanks :slight_smile:

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This looks like a low-level cryptographic library consisting of small fundamental building blocks. It may be useful for web developers implementing new services, but does not make it much easier to write the clients compatible to existing services.

Unfortunately, Skiff Mail does not use the standard OpenPGP encryption in their apps and does not support IMAP email access protocol, which makes it similar to other walled garden email providers like Tutanota, Criptext, HEY and ProtonMail which try to keep their users accessing their mailbox using the application they develop and control. As long as these providers do not have a stable mail access protocol, it is not possible to make compatible clients for them. Even when they open source the server side or make it possible to reverse engineer the protocol from the source code, it is not feasible to develop alternative clients because the protocol is not documented and will constantly change in the future as these providers add features and change the server APIs.


Regarding the mail app, it is published under a “non-commercial” Creative Commons license, which is neither Free Software nor Open Source:

This makes it difficult if not impossible to develop compatible FOSS applications.

And the repository has an open issue about PGP support:


Thank you for the explanation. Appreciated. No point in paying for encrypted email when most of the people you’re communicating with are on Gmail and Hotmail…

Hope more more providers adopt the Autocrypt standard and enable it by default in the future.

Issue trackers on repositories are now closed and Skiff will shutdown in 6 months: Skiff – Migrating your data
Encrypted email service Skiff gets acquired, will shut down in six months | Ars Technica

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