Mega's Kim Dotcom accelerates efforts to build secure e-mail service

By on August 12, 2013, 11:00 AM
email, megaupload, privacy, kim dotcom, encryption, mega, lavabit, silent circle, secure email

Mega’s Kim Dotcom is looking to capitalize on a seemingly wide-open market in the wake of secure e-mail services Lavabit and Silent Circle voluntarily shutting down following intense pressure from US authorities. The company is accelerating efforts to build a secure e-mail service that would run on a non-US-based network according to Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar.

The executive is heading up the effort which he described as both exciting but very hard and time-consuming. As Kumar explained to CNET, the biggest tech hurdle is providing e-mail functionality that people expect, like the ability to search e-mails.

This feature is easy enough to provide if messages are stored in plain text on the server side but if all the server can see is encrypted text which is the case with true end-to-end encryption, all of that functionality must be built on the client side. Kumar said it isn’t impossible to pull off but it’s very hard to do and is perhaps why Silent Circle shuttered.

It’s likely to take many more months to crack, he said, reiterating that Mega will never launch anything that undermines its end-to-end encryption core security proposition.

In related news, Dotcom recently revealed to TorrentFreak that he may have to move Mega’s servers elsewhere if certain new surveillance laws are passed in New Zealand. The entrepreneur highlighted Iceland as a possible destination as it is a “friendly small country without enemies.”

He further noted the US was on a path to destroying its massive lead in the Internet economy. Dotcom believes mass surveillance and copyright extremism will ultimately cost the US economy more than any terrorist attack or piracy.




User Comments: 6

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3 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm tempted to get an account as soon as it is up and ready. Even If it is nothing more than saying screw you NSA. But deep down, I still don't think you will have privacy with this new email.

SalaSSin said:

I'm tempted to get an account as soon as it is up and ready. Even If it is nothing more than saying screw you NSA. But deep down, I still don't think you will have privacy with this new email.

I'm also afraid they will be prime target of all intelligence services, who might be thinking: "if they want it encrypted, they want to hide something from us".

MilwaukeeMike said:

Mega?s Kim Dotcom is looking to capitalize on a seemingly wide-open market in the wake of secure e-mail services Lavabit and Silent Circle voluntarily shutting down following intense pressure from US authorities.
So these two were the only ones in the world who had this service? That sounds hard to believe.

Dotcom believes mass surveillance and copyright extremism will ultimately cost the US economy more than any terrorist attack or piracy.
Joke is on you Kim. Only half of Americans even read the news, and the other half don't care. The Obama administration is protected by our media and unless anyone goes out and reads about Lavabit, no one is going to even remember them in two weeks.

I'm also afraid they will be prime target of all intelligence services, who might be thinking: "if they want it encrypted, they want to hide something from us".

Maybe. Secure email is probably used by anyone with an innovation the Chinese might be interested in.

Guest said:

This is awesome, but this time he is playing with the big ones, and we have seen what happen.

The new thing is the goverment spying everyone, we being grateful about it and hope the people with all that info do only the right thing......

Guest said:

Being a long time StartPage user, I'm looking forward to StartMail. The beta is suppose to begin any time now.

Martin Beek Martin Beek said:

Why would we trust someone like kimdotcom with our data?!

We protect our email and documents (specially when on Google drive or DropBox) with a stand-alone message & file encryptor (we use the Provost Cryptex software, which is now called CYPHR ( www.provost-intel.org/cyphr ) but there are many other programs alike).

Encrypting your messages and mail before storage or distribution is the only safe and reliable way.

Encrypted mail services such as kimdotcom's suggested Mega Mail service will remain rogue operations and not fit for professional or official use in any way.

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