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First Lavabit, now CryptoSeal pulls the plug: VPN service axed

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

VPN service CryptoSeal has followed Lavabit's example and shuttered its consumer service, saying its CryptoSeal Privacy service architecture would make it impossible to comply with a government order without handing over the crypto keys to its entire system.

The company, which will continue offering business services, made the announcement via a notice to users trying to log into the service, which has been posted to ycombinator here.

“With immediate effect as of this notice, CryptoSeal Privacy, our consumer VPN service, is terminated. All cryptographic keys used in the operation of the service have been zerofilled, and while no logs were produced (by design) during operation of the service, all records created incidental to the operation of the service have been deleted to the best of our ability,” the notice states.

Referring to the pen register issues that drove Lavabit's decision to close, the post continues: “Our system does not support recording any of the information commonly requested in a pen register order, and it would be technically infeasible for us to add this in a prompt manner. The consequence, being forced to turn over cryptographic keys to our entire system on the strength of a pen register order, is unreasonable in our opinion, and likely unconstitutional, but until this matter is settled, we are unable to proceed with our service,” it continues.

Founder Ryan Lackey confirmed the shut-down on Twitter:

Paid subscribers are offered a one-year subscription to a non-US VPN service, a refund of their balance. CryptoSeal says it's looking at legal ways to relaunch a consumer service, and subscribers will also be offered a year of free service should it bring a new service to market. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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