Michael Janke sat beside Ladar Levison in front of a crowd of expectant technologists. The pair had just closed their popular secure email services in response to surveillance by the National Security Agency and were set to announce the Dark Mail Alliance, a combined effort to fight back against would be wiretappers.
Janke, the boss of Silent Circle and Levison of Lavabit forged the Alliance as a way to provide secure emailing through distinct end-to-end encrypted protocol and architecture.
“What we call ‘Email 3.0' is an urgent replacement for today's decades old email protocols (‘1.0') and mail that is encrypted, but still relies on vulnerable protocols leaking metadata (‘2.0'),” Janke said.
The plan is to extend Email 3.0 to software developers and service providers worldwide.
“Our goal is to open source the protocol and architecture and help others implement this new technology to address the privacy concerns over surveillance and backdoor threats of any kind,” Janke added.
Just under a decade since its founding, Lavabit suspended its encrypted email services in August. Unable to speak publicly on the matter, it was suggested in a letter by Levison posted to the Lavabit website, and through several other outlets, that the US Government was seeking access to user emails for surveillance purposes.
Launched in 2012, Silent Circle acknowledged the trends and preemptively shut down its encrypted email service.
A Dark Mail Alliance spokesperson could not be reached for comment.