Today’s episode is a first. And it kinda happened by chance.
The background: I’m sometimes contacted by founders of or executives from various technology companies. They usually want me to write about their products. I usually say no. A few times, I’ve said yes.
This is one of those times.
Andrew Milich, the CEO, and Founder of a new secure platform called “Skiff” reached out to discuss his new product. And, since we agreed to chat on Zoom, I asked if he’d be comfortable with my recording and sharing our conversation.
He was. Now, we can add our first-ever video interview to Teck Talk.
A graduate of Stanford University, Andrew is a bright and personable human who brings years of experience in technology. During our 30min conversation, we, of course, spent time talking about Skiff, his brainchild.
I started using Skiff Mail (non-paying referral link) a week ago when Andrew reached out to me. Like Google, Skiff mail is 100% free, simple to use, and very powerful. Unlike Google, it is completely encrypted, so any email sent to any other Skiff user cannot be seen by anyone: not by an ISP, not by a malicious hacker, and not even by employees of Skiff.
Skiff employs end-to-end encryption (or “E2EE”) which makes that level of security and privacy possible.
To help stay profitable, the company also offers a paid tier for $8/month which provides additional features not available to free users including, notably, priority technical support.
However, our conversation was about more than just Skiff: we also spoke about the nature of politics, privacy, and security in both today’s world and in the coming years. As a technologist and CEO, I was curious about what Andrew thought about the digital landscape and he didn’t pull his punches:
“I think we’ve seen a really promising push in consumer privacy protection laws… However, I think on the flip slide, I am less certain and confident in the future for people’s objective privacy and their freedom to navigate the web more anonymously.”
I’m guessing that this opinion on the future of privacy — something we both share, by the way — might be the reason Andrew was driven to create Skiff. It’s exactly the kind of software tool that can help average people take back some of their privacy.
I hope you’ll enjoy this first-of-it’s-kind conversation. Who knows: if the response is positive, more interviews might be on the way. Let me know in the comments.
The Skiff platform and its three services are “Mail” (for sending/receiving secure email; “Pages”, (collaborating on secured and shared documents); and “Drive” (which provides secure digital file storage).
Skiff’s GitHub page, where you can view the company’s open-source code and inspect it for yourself.
Proton and Proton Mail, one of Skiff’s key competitors in the marketplace for secure email and calendaring.
GDPR, the new data privacy/security laws in Europe that Andrew alluded to and which went into full effect in 2018.
Apple’s bowing to pressure from the Chinese government to PREVENT user privacy at its data centers in China.
Apple’s caving to pressure from the Russian government and removing a voting app designed to help Russians vote for leaders who opposed Vladimir Putin.
And that’s a wrap for today’s episode, everyone. Thanks again to my free and paid subscribers for supporting independent technology journalism. I also thank you, in advance, for using the link below to share Tech Talk with your friends, family, and colleagues.
As always… Surf safe.
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These are the devices and services that I personally use. I pay for everything you see listed here. I made these choices after much research and recommendations from tech industry colleagues.
The online backup software I use: iDrive (affiliate link)
The VPN software that I use: Nord VPN (affiliate link)
The email anonymizer that I use: 33Mail (affiliate link)
The secure router I use at my office: Gryphon (affiliate link)
The secure router I use at my home: Synology (affiliate link)
The service I use to block spam calls/texts: Uncall (affiliate link)
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