Would you use Fastmail as your main e-mail provider?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Overdone, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. Overdone

    Overdone Registered Member

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    Hello there,

    This forum is probably the forum whose opinion I value the most when it comes to privacy related concerns, so I'm here to ask:

    - Would you use Fastmail (fastmail.fm) as your main e-mail provider, knowing they're based in Australia with servers in the US?

    I ask because I'm in love with their webmail. It's just so feature rich and fast! They also would allow me to use my own domain, which is a must have.

    But with the latest Australia news I'm really wondering if I should go with them or if it doesn't make any difference what e-mail provider I use..
     
  2. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    I have been using FastMail nearly ten years. During that time there was only one brief interruption in service (less than 2 hours I believe).

    I had one personal glitch to which their support responded to within minutes.

    Its servers are located in New York City with a backup in Iceland.

    The site developers are among the most active contributors to the widely used Cyrus IMAP open source software project and include the lead developer and maintainer of Perl module Mail::IMAPTalk

    I wasn't aware of the new situation in Australia.

    In terms of the search warrant authority in Australia I'm not certain it would apply to Fast Mail's US severs in the US (though that question can't be answered until a final ruling on the recent Microsoft/Ireland case) and even if it did, I'm not certain it's any different than the situation that exists here. It just makes law enforcement's snooping easier. Instead of needing to get a warrant to just access your PC, it eliminates the need to get a second warrant to look at your emails held on Fast Mail's servers. There are very few nations where a law enforcement agency can not get a warrant to search emails of an individual held on a provider's sever.

    I'm certain if it became a problem they would move their company to Borneo or somewhere else.

    The way I look at it, no email is safe from the prying eyes of the surveillance state if they really want to see it.

    Sucks to live in a surveillance state. It chill's freedom of speech and thought, is anti-democratic, and 90 % of the necessary resources devoted to it are useless and wasteful, if not counter-productive. But tell that to a highly paid lobbyist with a pocket full of campaign money who represents a company that profits from one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  3. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    I think bluebottle.com is located in germany according to flagfox.
    This is my main email provider living in the uk.
    It has a very good web interface as well.

    I do use fastmail as well but only for a computer help list.
     
  4. Overdone

    Overdone Registered Member

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    Thanks for answering. I'm sure their service is stable enough for me not to have to worry about that. That's not my issue. My worries derive from the fact that it's an Australian company with servers tied in the US, which means my privacy is at stake AND fastmail might just go lavabit and byebye my data... The US has done so much /"#/&$( lately that honestly, they are not to be trusted and anyone who does, is a fool imo.

    About the "search warrant authority in Australia", you're wrong, or atleast partially. According to them, they need a warrant by an Australian judge (read this). But ya, since both countries are "Five Eyes", I doubt it makes any difference. Plus, the US can just decide to log their servers and there's nothing they can do about that (no idea if that's legal, but ya, Americans don't care about legalities..)
     
  5. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    For anything that matters, just (1) obscure your identity and those of your correspondents by using "anonymous" email accounts accessed only through Tor or VPN services, and (2) keep content private by using end-to-end encryption (and meaningless subject lines). Even if the NSA gets the messages, it won't help them very much. To further mix things up, you and your correspondents can use multiple email accounts.
     
  6. Overdone

    Overdone Registered Member

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    @mirimir thank you for answering. "For anything that matters".. What matters and what doesn't? I would say everything matters, because of metadata... I don't do anything out of the ordinary with e-mail... I use it to talk w/ people and also to register to forums/sites, such as this one..

    I've also been considering "Runbox", but I really really don't like their webclient and they don't support two-factor-authentication.. But ya, they're based in Norway, which is a paradise when it comes to e-mail's privacy... I guess I could send musics obtained illegaly to my e-mail (if I owned a runbox account) without any problem whatsoever...
     
  7. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

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    is it ? why ? how do you know ?
    the moment you connect to the Net forget about privacy


    and there's a sixth eye called Atlantis


    register a domain,
    host a couple of e-mail boxes,
    and it's your data for as long as
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    In saying "anything that matters", I'm referring to what you're protecting, who (adversaries) you're protecting it from, and what the consequences of failure might be. Given what I've learned, the most secure approach to email involves using Mixmaster remailer nyms via Tor (nymservers and newsreaders running as hidden services) with alt.anonymous.messages as shared inbox. However, that is arguably overkill for most of us. And accordingly, the major limitation in that approach is the small user base.

    Anyway, the point is knowing what's best in each case. Maybe it's best to go for moderate overkill, just in case. But if you always go for the maximum, you're arguably wasting time. See my guide https://www.ivpn.net/privacy-guides/will-a-vpn-protect-me for more about that.
     
  9. K C

    K C Registered Member

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    I would, yeah.
     
  10. Overdone

    Overdone Registered Member

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    Thank you. Really great that you created an account just to say that. Very useful post.
     
  11. Tipsy

    Tipsy Registered Member

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    What are your alternate email provider options? And what countries are you and your email sharers live in?

    Fastmail seem better than google or yahoo or hotmail. But I agree this direction Australia government going seem very worrisome.
    If you or your email sharers live in US or UK, seem does not matter because already you have little privacy protections.
     
  12. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I've been using FastMail as my main email for 12 years and will never switch to anything else.
     
  13. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    Received this this AM: Not sure why they are doing this but seems it will have no effect on existing users:


    "Dear FastMail User,

    On Thursday, 23rd October 2014, we are moving the main FastMail website from fastmail.fm to fastmail.com. We intend to make the transition as seamless as possible, but we wanted to give you advance warning. Below are some more details for users regarding this change:

    Does this affect my @fastmail.fm email address?

    Not at all, this will continue to function exactly as before. The only difference is the web address you'll see in your browser when you log in to our website.

    Email client users (e.g. Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Outlook, etc)

    If you access your email through an email client, there's no change. Everything will continue to work exactly as before.

    Web interface users

    If you use our web interface, from Thursday when you go to fastmail.fm you will be redirected automatically to fastmail.com. Any existing sessions will be transferred across, so if you were logged in at fastmail.fm, you'll be logged in at fastmail.com. The only difference you should see is in the address bar in your browser.

    Password manager users

    If your password is normally filled in automatically for you by your browser or password manager, you'll need to make sure you know what it is. For security reasons most password managers will only fill in your password on the domain where it was first used, and since we're moving domains from fastmail.fm to fastmail.com, they'll fail to work automatically. If you don't know what your password is, we've got instructions on how to find it in all major browsers. Your password manager should prompt to save it again the first time you log in at fastmail.com, so don't worry, you still won't have to memorise it!

    How can I get an @fastmail.com email address?

    With the exception of legacy guest and member accounts, you will be able to add an alias (additional address) to your account, or you will be able to rename your account to a new username @fastmail.com.

    All addresses will be available on a first come, first served basis starting as soon as the transition to fastmail.com occurs. We decided on this approach because we already offer many domains, so there might be joeblogs@fastmail.fm, joeblogs@fastmail.us, joeblogs@fastmail.net, joeblogs@myfastmail.com, joeblogs@eml.cc, etc. and we don't think any particular user and any particular domain should get priority over another.

    In the interests of fairness, we are only allowing each account to register one alias @fastmail.com. New users will be able to sign up an address @fastmail.com as well.

    When exactly will @fastmail.com email addresses become available?

    An exact time on Thursday hasn't been decided yet. Please keep an eye on our blog for further details.

    Thanks for reading and as ever, thanks for using FastMail.

    Regards,

    The FastMail Team"
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  14. Overdone

    Overdone Registered Member

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    hawki, it'll have some effect at existing users. First, they'll need to add the "@fastmail.fm" to the login info. Also, many people might want a @fastmail.com alias.


    I'm still considering if I get an account with fastmail or not.. Their webclient is fantastic - so fast and fluid. But I just can't get over the fact that they're based in Australia!

    ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ this is such a hard decision.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2014
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