Email providers Silent Circle and Lavabit are proposing a new email standard that would make it harder for governments to snoop. Strictly speaking, Darkmail, as the proposed standard is called, would keep individuals and governments from spying on email metadata. Traditional email can never be fully secured, as the standard requires some metadata to be unencrypted. The Darkmail Alliance, which right now consists only of Lavabit and Silent Circle, aims to get Darkmail off the ground, according to the Guardian:
The Darkmail Alliance aims to fix many of the problems affecting the old standard. "The existing email architecture is 40 years old, and it's what allows the world's surveillance community, hackers and other data mining companies, to get [users'] data," Janke told the Guardian.
Darkmail would be as compatible with the current email standard as possible. Unencrypted messages could be sent and received between a Darkmail user and, for instance, a Gmail user. When two Darkmail users are sending messages back and forth, however, the email is encrypted, then routed between the two accounts without passing through a central server.
Both Lavabit and Silent Circle shut down their services rather than in the face of government intrusion earlier this year.
Would you use Darkmail to keep governments out of your email?
Source: The Guardian