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News and Improvements at Riseup.net: Personally Encrypted Email Storage
by Riseup, your friendly radical tech collective
Wednesday Apr 19th, 2017 11:20 AM
Thanks to everybody that has supported us during the recent changes with your ideas, code, words of support, money, trust. Thanks for all that you do in your struggles around the globe to advance social justice, resist fascism, and make the sunshine a little brighter.
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News and Improvements at Riseup.net: Personally Encrypted Email Storage

Single Invite
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Because Riseup does not tie user account creation to a phone number or credit card information, many people attempt to obtain Riseup accounts for the purpose of sending spam or phishing email.

In the past, we asked people to write a short description of their activism in order to try to eliminate these scammers. Unfortunately, over the years, this has been excellent training for teaching scammers how to sound *exactly* like activists. It got to the point where if an account request sounded too inspiring and awesome, it was probably fake. This has been a huge problem for us.

Another problem is that whenever a Riseup bird leaves their cozy nest, someone always mentions that they tried to get a Riseup account and were rejected. Many apologies! We were not judging you. It is likely that you sounded too wonderful and therefore seemed like a scammer.

In light of this, we have made two changes:

(1) We have removed the ability to request a new account.

(2) We have simplified the process of creating a new account with an invite.

It now only requires a single invite in order to create an account, and every user is able to create more invites. In order to create an invite for someone, log in to account.riseup.net.

To prevent abuse, new users are not immediately able to create invites. We are hopeful this will make life better for everyone.

Personally Encrypted Email Storage
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After much effort, we are happy to announce a new feature! We have taken action to ensure that Riseup never again has access to a user’s stored email in plaintext. Now all new Riseup email accounts will feature personally encrypted storage on our servers, only accessible by you. In the near future, we will begin to migrate all existing accounts to use this new system.

To be absolutely clear, this type of encryption is not end-to-end message encryption. With Riseup’s new system, you still put faith in the server while you are logged in. For full end-to-end email encryption, as before, you must use a client that supports OpenPGP (and is not web-based).

We are working to roll out a more comprehensive end-to-end system in the coming year, but until that is ready, we are deploying personally encrypted storage. This new per-user encryption is on top of the system full disk encryption which we have done since 2001.

If this doesn't really make sense, we've done our best to explain it more fully at: https://riseup.net/email#what-is-special-about-riseupnet-email

WARNING: Once an account is using the new system, the ONLY way to reset your password is with a recovery code. One of the downsides of us not having your information is that we do not have your information. This means you MUST write down your recovery code and keep it in a safe place. If you lose your password and your recovery code, your email will be IRREVOCABLY LOST and it will be technically impossible for us to recover it.

New and Improved!
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We've recently switched to new systems for account management and support. The old system was first started nearly 10 years ago, lacked some modern features, and was getting to be a burden to maintain. To adjust your account settings, you can now go to https://account.riseup.net. To file (and help answer!) support tickets, go to https://support.riseup.net

On a related note, we've answered as many of the help tickets from the old system as we could and turned it off. If you submitted a ticket there and still need help, please file a ticket in the new system.

Riseup Translators Are Awesome!
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If you are reading this (or any Riseup web page) in a language other than English, you have the Riseup translators to thank! They do a great job of making sense of our tech jargon and English idiom-filled writing, translating not just words but modern concepts and politics. Thanks to all our translators!

We are not a Business
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Riseup is not a business. We are not in this collective to make money. We do this because we believe in the project of supporting activists changing the world for the better. We believe in making better tools for you to communicate and organize with. We are not a business, and yet, and alas, we do need money to keep the machines working, to pay the bills. and to pay for the labor that keeps everything working all the time.

It's been a while since we sent a newsletter out because we've been super busy creating new systems and technologies that we think will help all of you. Because of that, we're behind on fundraising goals. Please donate today, if you can!

https://riseup.net/donate

Last, We Love You
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Thanks to everybody that has supported us during the recent changes with your ideas, code, words of support, money, trust. Thanks for all that you do in your struggles around the globe to advance social justice, resist fascism, and make the sunshine a little brighter.

With Love and solidarity,
Riseup, your friendly radical tech collective