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Darkmail Alliance wants to create newer, more private email standard to prevent snooping

Darkmail Alliance wants to keep the government out of email

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

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Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

Darkmail Alliance wants to create newer, more private email standard to prevent snooping


I would certainly use it. Our email protocol is much in need of being updated anyway, why not make it secure too?

This all sounds great, but these services already shut down rather than allow the government(s) to have access, which was more or less being demanded.

Now these same companies want to create a new email standard that prevents governmental snooping? As much as I like this idea, and I hope I'm wrong here, but I have near no confidence that governments will allow it to become a reality.

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Great Idea. But I don't care because I have no need to hide anything. Unless everyone in the world switches to it, how actually useful is it going to be, although I could totally see it helping solve the spam issue. It will also suffer from the same stigma as Bitcoin does. People will assume that its only useful for nefarious purposes.