The TES (Trusted Email Services) project is an open, non-commercial industry effort to raise awareness around current email and DNS security threats and promote the deployment of technologies to address them, particularly cryptographic techniques to secure the submission, transport and storage of email messages over the Internet using the DNS root as the trust anchor.

The project specifically targets, as a primary audience, the ISPs, telecom and hosting companies in each country, organizing a series of round-table meetings where product owners and technical experts responsible for email can take part in a meaningful conversation; ideally, these companies are best suited to build the critical mass that would prompt general adoption of any new practice.

The project was initiated in Autumn 2015 by Open-Xchange, the maker of Dovecot, OX App Suite and PowerDNS, with the participation of other email, DNS and security vendors, such as Halon and VadeSecure. However, no product placement or sales pitch is allowed in TES, and meetings only focus on presenting the issues and discussing relevant technologies and best practices. Before discussion is opened to all participants, introductory presentations are offered by technical experts from the supporting organizations and companies.

The TES project wants to define and promote a set of comprehensive secure practices that ISPs collectively should follow, specifically focusing on transport level security, but also covering end-to-end message encryption between final users, secure mailbox storage, anti-abuse protocols and measures, and privacy-enhanced DNS services.

In its current phase, the project focuses on raising awareness and building capacity, providing reference information and tools, gathering people in online and offline discussions, and helping companies to pursue as a first step the deployment of DNSSEC and DANE to secure the MTA-to-MTA transmission of messages, and the adoption of encrypted email and DNS transport protocols, including DNS-over-TLS and DNS-over-HTTPS, in a secure and user-centric way.

Over twenty TES meetings already took place in several countries across the world, while more are under way: keep an eye over our TES meetings calendar. As the project continues to develop, we would like to involve more companies and more countries, and trade experiences and explore possible synergies with other efforts, to further increase community attention and participation in the adoption of secure email and DNS technologies.