Mega’s encrypted service to fill secure email void


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It’s been a difficult week for fans of privacy. Email service Lavabit abruptly shut down last Thursday and Silent Circle’s Silent Mail client followed suit just a day later, leaving the world of secure email drastically thinned out. Luckily, embattled tech star and privacy crusader Kim Dotcom will fill the vacuum with a “cutting edge” secure email client.

It just might take a while before it gets here.

Encrypted email has long been in the works for Mega as part of a boosted privacy suite that includes messaging and file transfers. Both Dotcom and Mega CEO Vikram Kumar have been talking up their commitment to email in the wake of Lavabit and Silent Circle’s respective shutdowns, including a blog post in which Kumar called the companies’ decision “the honorable act of privacy seppuku.”

“A diverse community of folks engaged in privacy-centric services can, collectively, protect themselves against a vastly more powerful adversary by using that adversary’s very power against it – judo for the private soul. It’s low-cost, it’s legal, and it’s (predicted to be) powerfully effective. “

According to Kumar, this act of company suicide actually brings more attention towards the cause, and gives companies like Mega the opportunity to step up and carry the mantle stronger than ever before. Mega is going all in on privacy — even Dotcom is creating a VC firm that brings up encryption-focused companies — and it could prove to be very lucrative.

While Mega has emerged as a potential all-in-one private services super-company, those who are interested in getting their hands on secure email will have to wait until 2014, when Mega’s email will finally roll out. That’s a long time to sit tight for users who have had the rug pulled out from under them in a span of 24 hours, and it’s hard to tell whether the cause will run out of steam before Dotcom and Kumar’s vision will come to fruition.


Paolo Brandoli

A different email system may solve the problem.

We are developing a new protocol that allow to distribute emails without using email servers: the mails travel directly from peer to peer and are stored temporarily in other peers if the recipient is offline.

The mails are always encrypted, and there is no need to manually distribute the public keys because the clients publish them automatically in a distributed hash table.

More info here:

Crypto Coin

Can’t wait to see Mega email. Meanwhile I’ll keep using


No it will not: pushing a new “secured email” (note the quotes) out there will not change what the email is: a non-secured list of protocols (smtp, imap, pop) by nature.

Adding one more centralized service somewhere will not fix that problem.

Let’s fund some really useful project instead, like Smari McCarthy’s Mailpile here. No “cloud” no “secure email” but an insightful decentralized personal messaging system, based on the email protocols, but giving the power to the user, not to a new provider we can not trust more than the previous one (heard of Megaupload data loss? heard of lavabit sudden shutdown?)

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