Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Secure email service? Not if NSA has its way

Silent Circle sees 'writing on the wall,' shuts down secure email service | The Verge: "Phil Zimmerman’s encrypted communications company Silent Circle is shuttering its Silent Mail email service after another secure email service used by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, called Lavabit, closed down earlier today. Silent Circle wrote that it saw "the writing on the wall" after Lavabit owner Ladar Levison explained he was being forced to "become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away." Silent Circle’s other services, Silent Phone and Silent Text, are completely end-to-end encrypted; only the users hold the keys needed to decrypt the messages, so even if the company were compelled to produce evidence in court, it wouldn’t have access to its customers’ communications in a usable form. But the protocols used for email — SMTP, POP3, and IMAP — can’t be secured, facing the team with a dilemma: continue providing Silent Mail, which offers similar privacy protections as other secure email services, or ditch the service altogether."

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