Darkmail: Most Impenetrable Email Ever?
Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is building it
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2013 8:15 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Edward Snowden's email provider, Lavabit, chose to shut down rather than let the feds spy on its customers, but founder Ladar Levison isn't exactly closing up shop. With an assist from encryption company Silent Circle, he's developing Darkmail, a new kind of email system that eliminates what the Wall Street Journal terms the "Achilles' heel" of Lavabit. In that case, "government access" was the weakness, with the feds able to demand encryption keys that would have opened the gates to all users' info. Darkmail will essentially render such a demand useless by putting encryption keys in the hands of users. The private keys would be stored on a user's computer and used to encrypt that user's messages. The only thing Darkmail would be able to pass to the government would be "garble."

"We're taking our inspiration from the Rebel Alliance," Levison tells RT News. "We're the rebels who have decided privacy is too important to compromise on." Set to go into review in the coming months, Darkmail would also make it clear to users whether their email conversations are totally secure (a green light means they are communicating with another Darkmail user) or not (a red light signals they're talking to, say, a Gmailer, whose communications can be monitored). It won't be foolproof, but snoops would have to launch Trojan spyware on the computer of each person they want to track—impossible on a large scale. For all that security, a Darkmail account will cost you, but the technology's code will available to other companies to duplicate. "We want to proliferate the world with this architecture," Silent Circle's CEO tells the Verge. It's expected to launch in Q2 of next year.

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Ezekiel 25:17
Nov 8, 2013 7:29 PM CST
Its all good for the "free" world to use. But it will not be allowed in Russia, N. Korea, China, Iran, or any other state that requires you use a service they can monitor.
K.KRANK
Oct 31, 2013 5:03 PM CDT
This will be nice when they get the service running, but really, its kind of unnecessary now if people would just use PGP encryption for their email, there would really be no need for this upcoming service or even the former Lavabit really. PGP works by end-end user encryption, each user creates a private & public key that the Feds would have to work at getting (trojans on a system or somehow physically getting access to the system or hacking into it remotely, which are all illegal for us non-NSA-member average Joe types to be doing - although whether that stuff is illegal for the NSA to be doing seems to be up for debate). As long as the private keys aren't lost to the spies PGP works pretty well. There used to be PGP plug-ins for Outlook (in the Linux world gnupg is the encryption program https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnupg). I tried to get people working for hi-tech companies using online email thru the net to use PGP for Outlook years ago, they complained about the time it took to use & difficulty (believe it or not & PGP encrypting/decrypting in Outlook using the plug-in was a no-brainer back then). I just gave up after a while & figured that company would eventually run into problems (which it did, it went out of business, probably stolen trade secrets obtained through intercepted emails I would imagine lol). Anyway, it's too bad there's such an anti-privacy/anti-security mentality in this country when it comes to high-tech. Really sad the people here are kind of all sitting ducks for rogue agencies like the NSA ??
JoshInChampaign
Oct 31, 2013 2:14 PM CDT
People need privacy, you just can't limit your concerns to yourself. Governments often work by digging up dirt on their enemies, whether it be other politicians, reporters, whistle blowers, etc. This is how people in power manage to do things that the people despise, because no one will stand up to oppose them.