I'm looking for a way to have group discussions using email and without centralized storage.
I want to use email, because all members already have it. They need no new software or new accounts.


I'm leaning towards a simple mail forwarding, that is, a single email address that forwards the email to all members of the group.

The downside is that the original sender will receive the message as a new message in their own inbox. Another one is that spam filter issues might arise. Listserv services promise better spam filter avoidance and good standings with email providers, but I can't verify that.

Is there something obvious that I am missing? My research has yet to yield a good result, so I'm turning to the fediverse for ideas. :)

@rostiger that should work, or you can use a mailing list to facilitate the routing

@neauoire I have yet to find a mailing list service that doesn't centrally store the emails. There don't seem to be a lot of email group discussion providers around any more - the majority switched to WhatsApp & Co. :/

@rostiger you can make one up, if you just want to redirect emails between friends, you can send up a mail server with an address that will only forward an email to a list of recipients, if you don't want it to be centralized, you could write a setup guide and get everyone in the list to spin their own.

@rostiger @neauoire and it really depends on your security posture here. Will all the emails be GPG encrypted? If not all the emails will be stored as plaintext once per recipient in their mail servers. Storing it once more on a central mailserver is not concern in this case. If you want to avoid long term storage you can set an expiration or cron job to delete them after N days. Cannot achieve anonymous & secure communication via email unfortunately.

@peregrine That's a good point to consider, thanks! Since most people in the group aren't tech-savvy, they are using unencrypted, "free" services (mostly gmail & co). Nothing that is written in the group can ever be secure or anonymous. From that perspective, central storage isn't an issue anymore.

@rostiger cool! lots of great open source mailing list tools.

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