Silent Circle and Lavabit are teaming up together to form a coalition of companies to create a more secure way to do email.
The coalition is being called the Dark Mail Alliance. Its mission is to offer a “unique end-to-end encrypted protocol and architecture that is the ‘next-generation’ of private and secure email.”
Earlier this year, Silent Circle and Lavabit were among the companies that took a public stance against Internet surveillance efforts in light of the revelations by Edward Snowden, who is the source of information about NSA operations. Silent Circle, which offers secure communications services, ended its Silent Mail email service after Snowden’s leaks became public. It continued offering other services however.
Lavabit though took it a step further by shutting down its operations entirely. At the time, Lavabit founder Ladar Levison blogged that he would strongly recommend anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States without congressional action and strong judicial oversight.
With the formation of the alliance, the companies hope they can jumpstart adoption of more secure email.
“As founding partners of the Dark Mail Alliance, both Silent Circle and Lavabit will work to bring other members into the alliance, assist them in implementing the new protocol and work jointly to proliferate the world’s first end-to-end encrypted Email 3.0 across email software developers and service providers globally,” the companies said in a joint announcement. “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 back door threats of any kind.”