Encrypted communications provider Silent Circle says it’s discontinued its Silent Mail email encryption service to avoid the risk of compromising its customers if governments demanded to see user information.
The company points out that it’s not received any government subpoenas, warrants or security letters at the moment.
It’s now focussing on peer-to-peer encrypted mobile services - Silent Phone, Silent Text and Silent Eyes - that use encryption keys on users’ Android and iOS devices.
Jon Callas, Silent Circle’s Chief Technology Officer, said “Silent Mail was a good idea at the time, and that time has past. We introduced Silent Mail in response to customer demand, stating upfront that – even with encrypted contents – e-mail as we know it today is fundamentally broken from a privacy perspective. With further thought – and before we were served with any demands compounding this issue – we decided it is in our users’ best interests to focus purely on peer-to-peer encrypted phone, text and videoconferencing services because the less information we have on how subscribers use our services, the better it is for everyone. This is an unfortunate example of the chilling effect the current surveillance environment is having on innovative communications companies.”
[Silent Circle blog]