GnuPG Fundraising Rally

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2 876 € a month

2 876 € a month of 15 000 € needed

+ 24 006 € in one-time donations

371 Supporters


For each recurring donation, First Look Media, the parent organization of The Intercept and Laura Poitras' Field of Vision, will match the first 12 months of your gift up to 25 000 USD (6 378 USD matched so far)!

GnuPG needs your support to help protect online privacy.

Activists, journalists, lawyers, and many others rely on GnuPG to protect their communication. And, nearly all free software-based operating systems (which are used by more than two-thirds of the servers running the Internet) rely on GnuPG to verify the integrity of system updates.

To continue supporting and improving GnuPG, we, the main GnuPG developers, are soliciting donations from the general public. Our primary goal is to raise 15 000 euros per month to fully fund 3 developers; our stretch goal is twice that, 30 000 euros per month.

Please consider donating to ensure that this critical piece of software continues to work for everyone.

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GnuPG Needs Your Help!

For the past 20 years, GnuPG has helped protect online communication. Cindy CohnPicture of Cindy Cohn, Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), describes GnuPG as "the way that I most often communicate with people who are in need around the world." Picture of Sheera FrenkelSheera Frenkel, Foreign Correspondent for BuzzFeed News, relates: "As a news organization, we're trained on using GPG. "It's about your sources and what happens to them when you leave the country and you publish that explosive story and the government is looking for the whistleblower that handed you that key piece of information." And famously, GnuPG was Edward Snowden's tool of choice to securely communicate with journalists about the NSA mass surveillance leaks.

But, GnuPG is not only used to encrypt email. GnuPG protects software updates for nearly all free software operating systems, which power two-thirds of all servers on the Internet. And, GnuPG is widely used by organizations and companies. For instance, Arthur JordanPicture of Arthur Jordan, Vice-President of Information Technology at 2U, told us: "when we reached out to universities about how they wanted to do secure file transfer, they were already using GPG encryption."

Yet, despite the critical role that GnuPG plays for journalists, activists, and lawyers in particular as well as anyone who uses the Internet in general, in 2012 GnuPG had a funding crisis. Due to a lack of contracts, Werner Koch, GnuPG's lead developer, was forced to lay off the only other person working on GnuPG full-time. And, by 2014, Werner had to take side jobs unrelated to GnuPG to supplement his income.

The situation looked so bad that Werner was ready to give up. But, friends convinced him to give a donation campaign one last shot. The response was amazing. Not only did he receive enough money to fund himself, but he pulled in 250 000 euros in small donations, and Stripe, Facebook and the Linux Foundation each committed to donating about 50 000 euros per year.

The GnuPG Team at OpenPGP.conf 2016

Given this amazing response, Werner decided to grow the team again. To date, he has hired 5 developers, and the past two years have seen a number of improvements to GnuPG and the surrounding ecosystem. For instance, we've worked on simplifying key discovery, adopted a set of Python bindings for GPG, contributed some improvements to Enigmail, and supported the Gnuk project—a free source and free hardware security token.

We want to continue this work in the long term. But, we want to do so in such a way that our first loyalty is unambiguously to the general public. This means making sure that a majority of our funding comes from individual donors, and not corporations. Further, to ensure long-term stability, our focus is on recurring donations and not one-time donations.

Our primary goal is to get donation commitments for 15 000 euros per month—enough to fund 3 developers. We can reach this goal if just 2000 people donate 5 or 10 euros each month, the equivalent of just 2 or 3 cups of coffee.

The Gnuk Token

This money will firstly allow us to continue our maintenance of GnuPG. We also intend to use it to fund our work on the Gnuk security token. And, one new project that it will support is a book called "An Advanced Introduction to GnuPG." A book for developers who want to integrate GnuPG into their programs, and need to understand the various concepts, the important security tradeoffs, and common pitfalls; for digital security trainers who need to understand GnuPG to be able to make sound recommendations to users; and, of course, for enthusiasts.

Our stretch goal is to double this number of donations. If 4000 people donate just 5 or 10 euros each month, then we intend to grow the team, and dedicate them to helping other projects in the GnuPG ecosystem. One project that we really want to contribute to is GPGTools, which many activists and journalists rely on to secure their online communication. We want to make sure that GPG integration in Apple's mailer is supported as soon as a new version of macOS is released.

Now, maybe you don't use GnuPG to encrypt your email. Nevertheless, some journalists whose work you value rely on GnuPG to protect their sources, some activists fighting for a cause that you sympathize with rely on GnuPG to protect their communication, and some lawyers speaking with their clients rely on GnuPG to help protect attorney-client conversations. And, free software-based operating systems use GnuPG to verify software updates.

So, if you are convinced as we are that this work is essential to protecting democracy and privacy, then please help us to continue our work and stay independent.

What we intend to do

Maintenance

Our first priority is to ensure continued maintenance of GnuPG. This entails reacting to bug reports, dealing with security issues, and staying current with best cryptography practices.

Gnuk

The Gnuk is a fully free software and open schematic security token developed by Niibe. We want to invest more in its production and distribution.

Book

We want to improve documentation. One major project in this area is a book that we have started to write called An Advanced Introduction to GnuPG, which will explain how GnuPG works as well as best practices. It is targetted towards digital security trainers, programmers integrating GnuPG to their applications, and enthusiasts.

Greater Ecosystem

Few people use GnuPG directly. Instead they interact with it via some tool. We hope to better help these tool developers improve GnuPG integration. In particular, we want to make sure that GPGTools, the GnuPG plug-in for Apple's mailer, works as soon as a new version of macOS is released.

What others say about GnuPG

Who we are

Picture of Werner
Werner started GnuPG in 1997. Werner is a long time free software supporter and co-founder of the FSFE.
Picture of Neal
Neal started to work on GnuPG in 2015 to support maintenance and development in all areas.
Picture of Justus
Justus started to work on GnuPG in 2015 to support maintenance and development in all areas.
Picture of Marcus
Marcus worked on GnuPG from 2001 to 2012 and rejoined the project in 2017 to work in all areas.
Picture of Kai
Kai is working on the Enigmail project since 2015.
Picture of Niibe
Niibe is a long time free software hacker who joined the GnuPG project in 2011 to work on smart cards and the Gnuk Token.