Feeds

Silent Circle shutters email service

Follows Lavabit in closing down service it can't guarantee to be secure

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Silent Circle, the company founded by former PGP wonks and Navy Seals and which offers very, very, secure communications, has decided to shutter its Silent Mail email service.

The decision, announced in a blog post, comes on the same day that Lavabit, another secure email service, decided to close because it cannot guarantee users' security. Lavabit was PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden's email service of choice.

Silent Circle's blog post says its mail service has “always been something of a quandry to us” because “There are far too many leaks of information and metadata intrinsically in the email protocols themselves. Email as we know it with SMTP, POP3, and IMAP cannot be secure.”

The post mentions Lavabit and its unwillingness to “be complicit in crimes against the American people” and says Silent Circle “see the writing the wall” and has therefore “decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now.”

No “subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government” have arrived at the company's offices, and by acting now the post says Silent Circle and users can avoid dealing with them in future. Staying warrant-free presumably means Silent Circle hopes its customers will be spared future investigations, with the post saying the company had considered keeping the service alive for current users or phasing it out. Now it has decided “that if we dithered, it could be more inconvenient.”

Silent Circle says it is still working on “innovative ways to do truly secure communications”. With both it and Lavabit walking away from efforts at secure email, those efforts appear to be more necessary than ever. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.