‘Mega’ To Fill Secure Email Gap Left Behind By Lavabit And Silent Circle Closures

Kim Dotcom is taking his Mega empire to the next level, announcing plans to release a very secure email service for US customers.

Dotcom announced his plans after Edward Snowden email provider Lavabit and “Silent Email” provider Silent Circle shut down secure email. According to Lavabit’s owner, Ladar Levison, he was shuttering the service to avoid becoming “complicit in crimes against the American people.”

Speaking to ZDNet last week, Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar said the company was being asked by its customers to provide secure forms of voice calling and email services.

Now Kumar is talking further about the company’s end-to-end encryption service for customers. Kumar explains:

“The biggest tech hurdle is providing email functionality that people expect, such as searching emails, that are trivial to provide if emails are stored in plain text (or available in plain text) on the server side.”

Kumar adds:

“If all the server can see is encrypted text, as is the case with true end-to-end encryption, then all the functionality has to be built client side. [That’s] not quite impossible but very, very hard. That’s why even Silent Circle didn’t go there.”

Mega handles end-to-end encryption services, which means it will need to rethink part of the process to secure emails sent from email accounts that are not part of the Mega service. To accomplish its goal, Mega is implementing cutting edge technology such as Bloom filters. The company is also working on cutting edge tech that would keep the platform secure even if SSL/TLS certificates were compromised.

In the meantime, the company is already determining its next move in New Zealand. Lawmakers in the country are considering new surveillance legislation, and, if the law passes, Mega servers could be moved to a new location.

Speaking to TorrentFreak, Kim Dotcom explains the currently legislative landscape in New Zealand:

“The NZ government is currently aggressively looking to extend its powers with the GCSB [Government Computer Services Bureau] and the [Telecommunications Interception Capabilities] Act, which will force service providers with encryption capabilities to give them secret decryption access.”

Kim Dotcom’s new secure email service would not have to worry about US authorities shuttering the system since Mega runs in New Zealand with the.co.nz domain naming convention.

In the meantime, Lavabit’s Levison tells ZDNet:

“This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would – strongly – recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.”

Would you be willing to use a Mega secured email service?