EMailserver with encryption?

tftp tftp at
Tue Sep 18 00:48:02 CEST 2001

--- Stefan Erras <Stefan.Erras at> wrote:

> I just want to know: what do you think about a virtual email server
> (running on the local machine of the user) which encrypts all emails
> automatically? [...] Email client -> local email
> server (encryption)-> internet email server -> internet email server ->
> local email server (decryption) -> email client.

A hack for sendmail to do that exists for many years, and
I think I tried it in 1996 - and it even worked... but I didn't
really use it because I couldn't easily choose keys, identities etc.

How would that server handle signing and decryption? Those require
my passphrase. A lot of per-user configuration would be needed, or
interaction with the server directly, but if you can't run this
server centrally, on a separate box then it does not matter if
you do crypto there or in the MUA.
Additionally, if the message is decrypted by MTA then it is
delivered to MUA and stored in plaintext - and that might be a
bad idea. Currently, you need to decrypt messages in MUA each
time you view them.


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