Lavabit, the secure email services, are once again operational and looking to protect “freedom, justice, and liberty” after being shut down in 2013.
Ladar Levison is the Lavabit owner and CEO. He went to offer details about the relaunch of the system. The email service officially relaunched at the end of last week. Its services have been up and running since January 20.
Lavabit LLC was founded in 2004. It is an open-source encrypted webmail service. The service offered its clients email privacy protection. It used asymmetric encryption so as to ensure it. Its cryptographic methods were considered quite impossible to crack. The webmail required user registration.
In 2013, Lavabit was estimated to have around 410,000 users. These had both paid and also free accounts. Their storage ranged from 128 MB to 8 GB.
But in August 2013, the webmail suddenly decided to shut down. The reasons for the suspension emerged sometimes later. Reportedly, the U.S. government had requested its SSL private keys. SSL are Secure Sockets Layer. They were reportedly trying to follow Edward Snowden’s emails.
But now, Lavabit will be relaunching its services. The webmail started working on January 20. And it came with some different features. The webmail is reportedly based on a new architecture. This should have solved its SSL problem.
Lavabit will reportedly include other new privacy-enhancing features as well. And old users will be able to relaunch their former accounts. Back in 2014, Levison began developing DIME.
This is the Dark Internet Mail Environment. It was designed together with Magma. This latter is an open-source mail server system. It supported DIME, which is an end-to-end encrypted global standard.
Lavabit, as well as Magma and DIME, are now available to the public. Users will be able to restore the old accounts. And they will also be able to choose their desired security levels.
According to Levison, DIME is capable of resolving most security problems. Reportedly, it is the only federated, automated, encryption standard. It was designed to work with various service providers. At the same time, it should also minimize metadata leakages that lack a centralized authority.
Levison states that DIME is end-to-end secure. But it is also accessible to users. They should be able to continue using their email even without advanced knowledge in the area.
Currently, the former Lavabit accounts are being transformed. They will be migrated and follow the new protocols. Users will have various privacy modes.
For example, they will be able to adopt a “Trustful” mode with DIME. This will allow it to automatically control the security and encryption. But DIME will also come with a “Cautious” and also “Paranoid” mode. Both these features will offer a greater security. At the same time, they will also restrict specific functionality levels.
Domain users can choose to deploy Magma. Or they can implement their own servers, as long as they support DIME.
Interested new users can pre-register for the upcoming release. Users can also beneficiate from a discount when signing up. This can come to $15 for the 5GB storage per year option. And to $30 for the 20GB storage per year one.
Levison also stated that they will be restoring user privacy. And that end-to-end encryption will become a ubiquitous, automatic, open-source reality.
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