I am very excited to introduce Safing ICS Technologies GmbH as the first sponsor of the PrivacyTools project. Safing is developing the Safing Privacy Network ("SPN", formerly Gate17), a decentralized network designed to protect both connection data and metadata, and focusing on speed and usability.

Safing and its founders share many of the same privacy ideals as our team, and we are very excited to support each other moving forward. You can read more about this sponsorship and what it means to them on the Safing Blog.

We are delighted to be in a position where we are able to share our resources, and equally enthusiastic that we can start this off by supporting the amazing team behind the PrivacyTools venture.

SPN is still in development, with a Kickstarter launch planned for January 2020. Therefore, we have not been able to test their products first hand. But, the PrivacyTools team has been very impressed with their company values and founders, and the technical details behind SPN sound promising. We hope to watch Safing grow with the privacy community and encourage you to check out their website at Safing.io.

The Future for PrivacyTools

Some of our members have asked us about our plans for funding like this, and we have a lot of short- and long-term goals I would like to take this opportunity to share with you.

Right now it is important for us to stay put. Funding from our initial sponsors like Safing will be saved and used carefully. PrivacyTools has always existed in a precarious position of private funding and high out-of-pocket expenses, so having a reserve in place and continual future funding will help ensure our self-sustainability and independence. If we were to use this funding to expand our services now, we would be in a situation where we are too reliant on a single entity (in this case Safing), which might jeopardize our independence despite the best intentions of everybody involved.

In the future we wish to offer more services, especially on platforms that currently receive little support. Networks like Mastodon are reaching relatively high adoption levels, while smaller projects like PeerTube could use some additional exposure.

The problem with projects like PeerTube is mostly resource-based. In PeerTube's case, storage is a huge issue for us to provide. Future sponsors and private funding of PrivacyTools can hopefully change that around. While we don't wish to do this solely with Safing's money for the independence reasons outlined above, it is in the works. If you want to support our mission, please consider giving a monthly donation to us at OpenCollective, every dollar counts. Our end goal is to be completely funded by our fantastic community, and I really believe that is possible.

We also wish to increase the reliability of our current services, and expand our server network internationally. This will allow more redundancy and increase performance for many users. Currently, all of our users connect to a single datacenter in France, causing slowdowns for many. Additionally, a few months ago we were the target for a month-long DDoS attack, and while it didn't take us offline thanks to our host's security networks, we did experience some intermittent networking issues across some services that people definitely noticed. Mirroring our site and distributing our services across continents would help further mitigate these issues in the future.

For those of you wondering what we wish to do with our funding, I hope this makes things more clear. If you have any questions feel free to reach out on Matrix at #lounge:privacytools.io!

We take the recommendations and content on PrivacyTools's sites and services very seriously, and we do not allow our sponsors or other financial contributors to make any decisions regarding the editorial content of our site. All financial transactions are published on OpenCollective, and all editorial changes are published on GitHub for community audit. PrivacyTools is a non-profit collective. Learn more about our sponsorship program and requirements at privacytools.io/sponsors.