Heml.is

Heml.is

README

Heml.is the beautiful and secure messenger built by Peter Sunde, Leif Hogberg and Linus Olsson, all this primarily by the leak from Edward Snowden that made this people understand that this is needed.

We don’t want a world where everyone is monitored all the time. People have a right to be private and this is our way of enabling them. Normally security results in a complex and unfriendly user experience. It should not be that way. Heml.is is a messenger for everyone so we are dedicated to create the most user friendly messenger ever.

Hemlis means “Secret” in Swedish

We love the internet, social networks and the power it gives for sharing and social connections. When sharing something on Twitter or Instagram the whole world can see it and that is great! What we don’t love though is that private communication has more or less turned into an open stream for companies and governments to listen into. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google have been forced to open up their systems and hand out information about their users. At the same time they have been forbidden to tell anyone about it! We’re building a message application where no one can listen in, not even us. We would rather close down the service before letting anyone in. Secrets are only secrets if they are secret.

The dudes Leif, Linus & Peter

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FAQ

This list of questions and respective answer were extracted from the official website of Heml.is, I omitted some of them that are irrelevant (just for me) or insecure (like the Bitcoin private wallet identifier) but you can read the full list of question the their website. These question were extracted at Fri Jul 12 00:40:42 EDT 2013, they may be modified or removed in the future.

When will Heml.is be released?

The simple answer is, when it’s done. We will of course release it as fast as possible, as we want this ourselves! You can follow the development on our blog plus Twitter and Facebook.

What will the money be used for?

To fund development of the apps, plus setup and running the infrastructure needed. And nothing else, but coffee.

What if you don’t get enough money?

Then we will use what we get to build Heml.is anyway. But if we get too little to manage at all we will refund the payments.

How much will the application cost?

The application will be free and can always send text messages. We will however charge a small fee (via an in-app purchase) to unlock certain features. Exactly which features is to be determined at a later time. We do this to fund the continuing development and infrastructure. As we said, we will never introduce ads or selling your data to fund the application.

Will it be Open Source?

We have all intentions of opening up the source as much as possible for scrutiny and help! What we really want people to understand however, is that Open Source in itself does not guarantee any privacy or safety. It sure helps with transparency, but technology by itself is not enough. The fundamental benefits of Heml.is will be the application together with our infrastructure, which is what really makes the system interesting and secure.

Will you release Hemlis on other platforms?

We will focus on getting the application released for iOS and Android. Once we have accomplished that, it’s only natural that we expand to other platforms as well.

Is it really secure?

Yes and no. Nothing is ever 100% secure. There will not be any way for someone without access to your phone to read anything, but with access to your phone they can of course read the messages. Just as they can use any other application you have installed.

Your server only?

Yes! The way to make the system secure is that we can control the infrastructure. Distributing to other servers makes it impossible to give any guarantees about the security. We’ll have audits from trusted third parties on our platforms regularly, in cooperation with our community.

What will the codes unlock?

It will give you access to extended features of Heml.is like sending image messages and other stuff in the future. Pre-register username will let you register your username before the application is released.

How will the codes, pre-register usernames and My name in the app work?

Prior to the release of Heml.is all backers will get an email with their codes and instructions on how to proceed. Note, we do not send this email directly after your payment.

Can I give unlock codes to my friends?

Sure, that is why you can fund to get multiple codes.

Why is Heml.is different from WhatsApp, MessageMe, iMessage etc?

Our focus is your privacy so we are building everything from software to company structure to protect that. The others are focused on maximizing profit.

Does Heml.is save every message on a server?

Messages will only be stored on our end until they have been delivered to the recipient. We might add support for optional expiry times to messages, in which case messages would be stored until they had been delivered or they expire. Whichever comes first.

What technology will Heml.is use?

We are building Heml.is on top of proven technologies, such as XMPP with PGP.

Why not use OTR?

Even though we love OTR it’s not really feasible to use in a mobile environment. The problem is that OTR needs both parties to be online for a session to start, but a normal phone would not always be online. It would not work at all for offline messages neither.

Will you provide an API and/or allow third party clients?

At this point we don’t see how that would be possible without compromising the security, so for now the answer is no.

Why the name?

Hemlis means “Secret” in Swedish. And it’s the top level domain of Iceland, a small but beautiful nation in northern Europe - quite close to Sweden! The Icelanders are famous for data protection and it’s one of few top level domains that has proven that they do not cave in to pressure easily.

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Credits

We don’t want a world where everyone is monitored all the time. People have a right to be private and this is our way of enabling them. Normally security results in a complex and unfriendly user experience. It should not be that way. Heml.is is a messenger for everyone so we are dedicated to create the most user friendly messenger ever.

Heml.is official website. Wikipedia for common definitions and abbreviations.

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