Silent Circle, the provider of a range of secure communications services, has pre-emptively closed its Silent Mail email service in order to stop U.S. authorities from spying on its customers.
That makes it the second U.S.-based secure email provider to shutter operations on Thursday, following the closure of Lavabit.
The closures strongly suggest that secure hosted email services cannot be sited in the U.S. without being compelled to compromise users’ privacy if asked to do so by the authorities there. When Lavabit shut down, founder Ladar Levison said: “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.”
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