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Privly allows you to seamlessly view and post encrypted content on any website. Post encrypted Tweets, Updates, Chats...anything.
Privly allows you to seamlessly view and post encrypted content on any website. Post encrypted Tweets, Updates, Chats...anything.
565 backers pledged $26,891 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

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Priv.ly Project Mega Update

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Priv.ly Project Mega Update

Hello Priv.ly backers! This is a huge update whose most important announcement is: Privly Chrome is in public Alpha! This means anyone can install the Chrome extension and use it in webmail, web chat, and status updates. Please remember that "Alpha" does not mean "finished." As we continue to develop the platform, we want your input!

We have more in-depth updates below that we broke into non-technical and technical sections. Starting with the non-technical:

Software

Seamless posting at work on GChat
Seamless posting at work on GChat
  • Firefox is breaking many browser extensions as they change their browser extensions to work the same way as Google Chrome. Depending on how the browser updates go, there might be a few months where we wait for the new version of Firefox. For now, the current version still works.
  • You can use Privly with the website privlyalpha.org, but it is more secure to use the browser extensions.
  • Numerous other behind the scenes software projects are in progress.

Community

  • We participated in the 2015/2016 Google Code-In and had a great time collaborating with high school aged children on the Priv.ly Project.
  • We participated in the Google Summer of Code again. See the wrapup.

Foundation

  • Thanks to ongoing donations and our low operating expenses, we are still financially sound. Special thanks to Rackspace in reducing our monthly operating expenses.

Backer Accounts

  • We opened account creation on privlyalpha.org. We can only guarantee backers, developers, and their invited guests will have permanent access to these servers.

The collective group of volunteers developing the Priv.ly Project would like to thank Google for supporting development through the Google Summer of Code, Rackspace and the OSU Open Source Lab for supporting our server infrastructure, and especially our donors/backers!

Best,
Privly People

---

Longer (more technical) Update

In our Kickstarter campaign, we identified a lofty set of development goals. In fulfillment of those goals we have created many software projects:

In the following sections we summarize the status of these components. The "short version" of this update is that all the software is available, but unless you are a software developer you should limit yourself to the the Chrome extension and the privlyalpha.org website. In the coming months we will release new or updated versions of the other software projects as our team of volunteers are able to give sufficient support to users. Each of the sections below have details of what this means for their respective platforms.

Privly without a Browser Extension

Short Update: Anyone can use Privly without a browser extension by visiting privlyalpha.org. We don't recommend people use the content server directly because our browser extensions don't use remotely served code -- which makes them more secure. However, hosting the application is a necessary step to mass adoption because we cannot expect everyone to immediately download a browser extension.

Long Update: Privly is built to work on every web browser regardless of whether you have the extension installed. The difference between using the browser extensions and just clicking on one of the Privly links is that the browser extensions allows you to (1) read and post Privly content without leaving social media, and (2) protect your content from the server hosting your encrypted content.

We recommend everyone use Privly with the browser extensions.

Chrome Extension

Short Update: The Chrome extension is awesome. Download it. Read about using it safely. Use it.

Long Update: Our Google Chrome extension is feature rich and hugely flexible. We have spent an immense amount of effort to ensure it can (1) seamlessly view protected content across most of the web -- even as the web becomes a more complex system to build on, (2) seamlessly post content without needing to leave the website you are viewing, (3) support additional functionality as the web and cryptography improve over time, and (4) automatically test for problems.

You can download the Chrome extension and start sending messages with it today. Privly developers have been using it to send emails, chat messages, and tweets. Please let us know (privly@privly.org) if you have any issues and we will add a test case to our system to cover the problem.

Firefox Extension

Short Update: Once Mozilla releases WebExtensions, Firefox should have the same functionality as our Chrome extension. There may be a ~3 month gap where the newly released version of Firefox may not support Privly.

Long Update: The systems we build the Priv.ly Project on continually change. In the first quarter of 2016, Mozilla may break parts of how the extension is currently implemented. This means we will need to soon develop a third version of the Mozilla Firefox extension. This is great news for the Priv.ly project. The planned changes from Mozilla are standardizing browser extensions to the technology we use for our Chrome extension! On the downside, it also means the extension we currently have for Firefox may have a ~3 month gap as Mozilla finalizes the new system.

Safari Extension

Short Update: Apple approved Privly for their extension gallery, but there are a few bugs with Safari that prevent Privly from working with all websites.

Long Update: We submitted several bugs to Apple regarding their extension framework. In particular, some websites currently block our Safari extension from working because Apple doesn't recognize addresses starting with "safari-extension" as being trusted. This is not consistent with other browser vendors and contradicts web standards. If you know someone on the Apple Safari team, please contact us (privly@privly.org)!

Opera Extension

Short Update: It exists, we won't distribute it yet.

Long Update: We distributed a version for Opera in the past, but they adopted the same architecture as Chrome. This is great news from the Privly Perspective, but we won't be distributing for Opera until we have more resources to chase 1 percent of browser market share :(.

Microsoft Edge Extension

Delayed until Microsoft releases their Chrome-like extension system in 2016.

Android and iOS Mobile App

Short Update: Android is in developer preview, but iOS development has stalled for lack of volunteer time.

Long Update: The mobile applications crawl social media and email accounts found on your phone to find protected content and display it in a newsfeed style display. The primary security benefit of the application is that you don't need to run the code hosted by the Privly Foundation every time you click a link. This makes it more difficult for the Foundation to actively attack your data and will support the local storage of keys for current and future Privly applications.

Sharing Media with Privly

We have built a proof of concept for sharing encrypted images using Privly, but we won't introduce media sharing until we are confident in the user experience of sharing text.

Privly Cryptography and Safety

Short Update: When using the "Message" application within Privly, anyone with the hyperlink will be able to request the encrypted content from our servers and decrypt the content. This means the social network and anyone the social network gives your links to will be able to see your content. You have legal privacy since major web companies are not legally allowed to store your content, but you are not protected from governments or malicious websites. If you think a website might actively attack you, don't use the website with Privly.

Long Update: Read more about safety with the Priv.ly Project.

Non-Privly Foundation Hosting

Short Update: You can host your own server, but unless your friends trust your server the content will not be injected into the websites containing your links.

Long Update: We have put research time into making the hosting of Privly content truly distributed and thus robust to DDoS attacks and user request tracking. At present we cannot support any of the potential methods because we don't have the development time or peering network to make this approach viable. If and when we have a large user base, it becomes possible for us to push a distributed hosting network out to users.

We currently support a weaker form of distributed hosting, which is that people may setup their own content servers and point their browser extension away from Privly servers. At present we don't automatically integrate every domain with Privly for privacy reasons (content hosts are capable of logging requests), but we are evaluating ways of mitigating this concern that should make it more usable for additional hosts within the Privly ecosystem.

Priv.ly Project's Future

During our Kickstarter we found that most people would not use Privly if it did not work with every website on every platform even as web browsers change. To ensure we could meet this threshold we needed to figure out how all these different platforms could plug together to provide a more private web. We now know the boundaries of possibility across the complete web and mobile stack, so it is time to start an incremental rollout.

Privly Foundation Year in Review

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Greetings Backers,

We recently published a year-in-review blog post to the privly.org blog that summarizes the last year of Privly Foundation work.

Happy New Year,
Privly People

Priv.ly Project Year in Review

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Priv.ly Project Year in Review,

Since many of you are not on our announcement mailing list [0], we thought it would be good to update you via the Kickstarter list. See the FAQ below for details.

  • What did we build? We recorded ridiculously short videos outlining what Priv.ly can do [1,2]. The Priv.ly Project is privacy infrastructure for the web we are labeling a "Generalized Privacy Application Stack". Basically, developers can build applications with privacy properties that match their requirements. These applications can then be used across the web. Read More [3].
  • Where is my invite? We shipped Alpha invites for all users who want to be "testers." We are beginning to send invites to additional users, but do **not** use any system in Alpha with an expectation of privacy. Wait for the Beta. These invites are for you to steer system development.
  • What is privlyalpha.org? This is a server where users can host content during the Alpha phase of Priv.ly development. The Priv.ly domain does not hold user content -- we are building it into a content host hub.
  • What is the status of the non-profit with the United States IRS? It is pending. We recently sent them 200+ additional pages regarding our activities. The IRS needs to research us fully since there is little precedent for a non-profit Kickstarted privacy organization. The IRS also applies a very high level of scrutiny to organizations engaged in open source software development.
  • What else have you been up to? We presented the Priv.ly Project at O'Reilly's OSCON [3], mentored students in the Google Summer of Code [4], and have been making the code and organization more robust.
  • Who are you thankful for? We are incredibly grateful to Google for sponsoring our students during the Google Summer of Code, Rackspace for providing complementary hosting, and of course -- our backers for getting the whole thing rolling.
  • Where should I talk about the Priv.ly Project? We have several mailing lists and chat rooms. For email discussion, sign up for the development list [5]. If you want to chat about the project, drop in on our IRC channel [6]. We also organize Portland, Oregon's Techno Activism 3rd Mondays [7]. Meet us in person if you are in town.

Best,
Privly People

[0] https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/privly-announce 
[1] https://vimeo.com/83073455
[2] http://vimeo.com/83258935
[3] http://programming.oreilly.com/2013/07/securing-user-content-in-the-javascriptable-web.html
[4] http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/org/google/gsoc2013/privly
[5] https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/privly
[6] http://www.privly.org/content/irc
[7] https://wiki.openitp.org/events:techno-activism_3rd_mondays

Year End Update

Privly Backers,

Long time no update! We have a few items to talk about from Privly-land.

Please note that this will be our last update on the Kickstarter mailing list. If you want updates in the future, join the announcements mailing list, development mailing list, and/or the testers mailing list. We will contact you at the email address you supplied in the backer survey to fulfill your rewards.

Updates:

  • System: We re-architected Privly as a content privacy stack, which includes the host page, extension, content server, injectable applications, and cryptography library. Please join the development mailing list to make sure you receive video and blog updates to learn more about the content privacy stack approach.
  • Organization and Money: We applied for non-profit status for the Privly Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to online privacy. On recommendation of counsel, we transferred all the Kickstarter funds and backer rewards into the Privly Foundation. To see budgets and more organizational information, go to privly.org.
  • Next Steps: The system is now architected, but we will not roll out accounts for the Kickstarter backers until we expand the Privly developer community. System security will come through the input of experts in each of the components of the Privly system. When the community is ready, we will "flip the switch" and quickly build a critical mass of users. Privly will need your help on opening day to make sure it expands beyond its core group of privacy conscious individuals.

Let's get ready for sharing privately!

Best,
Privly People

Email: community@privly.org
Twitter: @privly
Diaspora
Facebook
Google Plus
IRC: irc.freenode.net #privly

Testing is Starting

Hello everyone,

Time for another update. As you may have noticed, we sent out the Privly merchandise. If you have not received your merchandise, please let us know (community@privly.org) as soon as possible.

Your donation has helped us form the non-profit Privly Foundation. The non-profit tax status, and what we are spending money on, can be found here: http://www.privly.org/content/kickstarter-funds

If you indicated you want to test Privly, you will have also received a letter inviting you to the Privly testing program. If you want more updates about the Privly testing program, you should sign up for this mailing list: groups.google.com/group/privly-test

Testing begins today. Please submit bug reports here: www.privly.org/content/bug-report
Sean recorded a video to Kickoff testing: https://vimeo.com/46737325

In the meantime, if you’re interested in keeping up with Privly announcements, please sign up for the announcement mailing list: groups.google.com/group/privly-announce

Lastly, developers please check out our development roadmap and let us know what you think!

Thanks for your support and Share Priv(ate)ly,

-Jen
community@privly.org