The open source Clipperz password manager focuses on complete user privacy and only accepts bitcoin as a form of payment.
“Bitcoin pseudonymity gives any user the option to make it very hard for everyone to create a link between his/her bitcoin payment and his/her data stored on Clipperz servers,” says Marco Barulli, who is one of the co-founders.
“It gives any user the option to make it very hard for everyone to create a link between his/her bitcoin payment and his/her data stored on Clipperz servers.”
Clipperz is different to other password managers on the market today because it doesn’t want to know anything about its users. Barulli said:
“Clipperz doesn't require any personal data to setup an account, not even your email address. Actually not even the username you select is known. We want to learn nothing about our users.”
Barulli says that eschewing the collection of any shred of personally identifiable information by Clipperz means less chance of a security vulnerability.
“Anonymity of data is not an ideological position. Anonymity is extremely important from a security point of view. Linking your encrypted data stored with Clipperz to your real identity widens the range of potential attacks,” he said.
And while some security-minded software can be difficult to use, Clipperz is built upon open web standards, making it easy for the masses to utilize.
“Clipperz is purely web based. It runs on most browsers and on all platforms, both desktop and mobile,” Barulli said.
“We believe that convenience and ease of use is an important part of security. And the browser is ... an ideal place to run crypto-based services.”
The company made the headlines recently by moving its hosting servers over to Iceland after running into some issues with Italian authorities, which claimed some suspicious wire transfers had taken place. The complete story is posted on its official blog.
The idea is that Iceland has amenable laws that protect the existence of privacy-minded software such as Clipperz. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, or IMMI, is legislation that has been passed in that country to help protect certain media freedoms that may prove beneficial to Clipperz.
“Our understanding is that IMMI will require a foreign court to prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that a certain server is storing data or providing services that are part of a criminal conduct,” said Barulli.
Bitcoin is the only payment option users have to support the Clipperz effort, which has been solely via donations. Barulli says that Clipperz could also accept other pseudonymous cryptocurrencies as a form of payment at some point. But it is not in the works right now.
“This is not in our current plans. Let's start with bitcoin and see what happens. We are certainly open to alternatives.”
Barulli himself first discovered bitcoin a few years ago. He has found it one of the best innovations for serving those without access to financial tools such as banks.
“I was first intrigued by bitcoin during winter 2010. I even installed the client on my old PC and did some mining for a few months.”
“I was, and still am, mostly excited by the potential of bringing payment services to the unbanked of the world,” he said.
Donations have supported Clipperz up to this point, but the company is implementing a paid model soon. Users will still be able to try the software for free during a trial period.
This article should not be viewed as an endorsement of Clipperz, please do your own research before using this service.
Username and password image via Shutterstock