Alternatives to Disroot?

Hey, was wondering if you know any other collectives offering a similar service (or set of services) to disroot?

I really appreciate the project, and disroot is the most compelling open-source hosting collective I’ve seen, but I imagined it was also in the spirit of the project that there would ideally be many “disroots” all around the world — I was curious if you had some to recommend? Or even better yet, a list of like-minded projects.

I’ve seen this collection Chatons, but its mostly centered around France, and I’ve seen https://libreho.st/, but maybe you know some others.

In particular, I would like to be able to recommend email & services to friends, who are looking to get off the BigTechCompanies — ideally I would like to be able to recommend a service to friends which is donation-based, values privacy decentralization and open-source, and also allows the use of email with a personal domain. I saw that disroot has temporarily disabled this feature, and that even before it was only a feature for some. In my perspective, letting users use an email with their own personal domain is an important feature for respecting user autonomy, because it allows the user to potentially migrate off the service (if the service ever starts to mistreat them or isn’t working for them) without losing their contacts and network. In other words, even as sysadmins with the best intentions, to empower the user to not depend on you as much as possible and make it easy to leave. I would like to recommend an email like this to friends if I can find it.

So this is really two questions 1. about alternatives/cousins of disroots and 2. wondering if you would consider making personal domains available for all users who want it (on this note, I’m a developer, and this is something I would also be open to help contributing to building if that would be helpful).

Will disroot last? - #2 by muppeth says something really good & important:

“ In fact we want to focus on convincing other collectives/groups out there to follow our initiative and create other, similar public nodes* to re-create decentralized and federated nature of the internet.”

For decentralization, the best way for you (esp. if you want to use your own domain) may be getting a hosting service - it’s not free as in free beer, but relatively inexpensive, maybe 1 or 2 or 3 EUR/mo or so, actually cheaper than paid plans of e.g. ProtonMail, TutaNota, CTemplar. Creating whatever@your.tld is very easy once you get a server with GUI things like cpanel, even if you’re not familiar with Linux.

My vague intuition is, Proton has become too big. It’s still Tor-friendly, but sometimes they show Captures, really annoying. Besides, many of those so-called secure email services are kind of liars, saying things like “Your email is strongly encrypted, so it’s safe.” Truth is, if they have your private key, it can’t be mathematically secure, it’s just trust-based - plus, plaintext is sent in general (unless both the sender and receiver use the same service). On the other hand, you don’t need any special service to do end-to-end, if you and your friend just use Open PGP and exchange public keys. That’s simple and easy.

Two honest services I’m aware of, are disroot and Cockmail. Disroot clearly states that it’s not secure enough and recommends you to use GPG. Cockmail also recommends [Open]PGP. CTemplar and posteo seem decent too. But perhaps getting your own mail server is the best and easiest. So, the question is, what are some of good hosting services? Well, there are Tor-friendly ones, where you can sign up without providing your personal info and you can pay with Bitcoin etc., such hosting is very privacy-aware. Also, there is a company that allows you to register a domain anonymously, not asking your personal info. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to write actual company names here because they could be seen as ads, but you can do some search.

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thanks for the awesome information.