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Mega to launch encrypted email service

After Silent Circle and Lavabit close, Kim Dotcom steps into the fray


With the self initiated demise of two of the most high profile encrypted email services. Kim Dotcom of Mega has stepped into the ring as the next willing challenger to offer the service. Mega are looking to create a new email service which is encrypted end-to-end much like the file hosting site it currently runs.

Lavabit and Silent Circle were the two sites which this weekend and earlier last week closed their doors, with Lavabit stating the choice they had was "to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit". Silent Circle on the other hand has closed down its email service, due to security fears. It uses standard email protocols which means that it cannot have the same level of security that real-time communications have. They are however keeping their Silent Phone and Silent Text services up and running as they are both end-to-end secure. Silent Circle even went so far as to destroy the servers that the data was held on.

The main issue Mega will have is to provide a level of functionality already expected by users, such as the ability to search emails. This now standard feature is easy to offer if the emails are stored without encryption, but with end-to-end encryption all the data the server can see is effectively meaningless, Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar has said that it's "not quite impossible, but very, very hard. That's why even Silent Circle didn't go there."

Vikram Kumar also said that it's "exciting stuff, but very hard, so I think it will take months more to crack it, but Mega will never launch anything that undermines its end-to-end encryption core security proposition and doesn't work for the mythical grandmother."

News is also circulating from an interview with Torrentfreak, that Kim Dotcom may have to move some of Mega's operations overseas if new surveillance laws are passed in New Zealand.