After Lavabit Closure, Kim Dotcom’s Mega Eyes Encrypted Email

After Lavabit Closure, Kim Dotcom’s Mega Eyes Encrypted Email(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Despite the closure of two encrypted email services including Lavabit and Silent Circle, Kim Dotcom-backed file sharing website Mega isn’t running scared.

According to a report from RT.com, Mega plans to launch its own encryption technology.

“These are acts of ‘Privacy Seppuku’ – honorably and publicly shutting down (“suicide”) rather than being forced to comply with laws and courts intent on violating people’s privacy,” recently explained Mega Chief Executive Vikram Kumar via a blog post in reference to the recent shut downs, according to the report from RT.

(The term “seppuku” refers to the ritual and honorable suicides of Japanese samaurai).

The two encrypted email services closed following a purported link to former NSA employee and PRISM leaker Edward Snowden. Snowden reportedly used Lavabit before he received asylum while staying in a Moscow airport.

Meanwhile, Mega CEO Kumar has maintained Mega’s service will feature “exceptional” encryption, noting his company was doing “some hugely cutting-edge stuff.”

“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. 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,” Kumar went on to say.

The closing of both Lavabit and Silent Circle have brought new attention to the use of encrypted email, something that occurs during a piracy right debate on what kind of data the U.S. government should be allowed to collect.

It’s not the first time a Kim Dotcom service has waded into controversy. Mega’s successor Megaupload was shut down by authorities in January of last year after authorities claimed the website was responsible for illegally sharing copyrighted media.

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