A few days ago, email encryption services Lavabit and Silent Circle shut down voluntarily. These services closed up shop for fear of government spying - Lavabit's CEO even posted a strong anti-government spying statement for the press to read. What these two services did was somewhat valiant (depending on how you look at it).
Enter Kim Dotcom. Today, he announced that he is working on starting an email encryption service. One that he claims will be impossible to hack into - one that's snoop-proof.
The New Mega Encryption Email Service
Mega's (Dotcom's company) CEO, Vikram Kumar, has told press that the email service is not yet complete. Email encryption users want a service that's as simple to use as Gmail, but comes with all of those encryption goodies. That's not an easy task to accomplish, it seems.
Email users want to be able to search through emails and read email as they would with any other email service, but that's really tough to do when it comes to encrypted messages. It also means that the encryption service Mega is working on won't be available for some time. The concept is exciting, but will the Mega team be able to make it all happen? It's hard to say right now, but Kim Dotcom and his team are giving it a go, that much is for sure.
Will It Work?
Can Kim Dotcom's company really create an email encryption service that the government can't hack into? Further, will the government let him build such a system? Dotcom claims that Lavabit and Silent Circle didn't go the route his company is going because it's simply too difficult to do. But, the notion of an email encryption service that acts just like Gmail might be what everyone that lives and works in the US wants.
After all, most people don't like the idea of the government tapping into every email on a whim. With a true encryption service that acts just like Gmail, users will see no difference, but that email won't be susceptible to government hacking. In short, it's a win-win situation for all involved - if Mega can make it happen.
What Email Encryption Does
In case you aren't familiar with email encryption, the concept is relatively simple. Email encryption works with public-key cryptography. When you send an encrypted email, the recipient can see the email as any other email would be seen. However, anyone else trying to look at that email would only see a mix of numbers and letters (code, really).
Technically, encrypted emails prevent people that should not be looking at your email from seeing what you wrote. However, most email encryption services are difficult to use because they don't act like Gmail or other user-friendly services. What Kim Dotcom is trying to do is create a user-friendly service that can also effectively encrypt emails. As you can see, this would be a service that a lot of people would want to to use.
Although difficult to accomplish, it certainly seems like Mega is on the way to picking up where Lavabit and Silent Circle left off.