Just a few months ago, Ladar Levison became famous when it was revealed that the secure email service he ran was patronized by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. He shut down that company soon afterward because otherwise, the government would've forced him to betray the privacy of his clients without their knowing.
Now he's back, and he has a plan to thwart the surveillance state.
Come 2014, he wants everyone in America to have access to secure, NSA-proof email. Toward that end, he has teamed up with Silent Circle, another recently shuttered email service, "to offer an open-source tool that could make peer-to-peer, end-to-end encryption an easy add-on for any email service," Kashmir Hill explains. They urged industry insiders to support their efforts last week at the InBox Love conference, where more technical detail was offered than I could possibly relate:
They're calling it Dark Mail.
"I think if I had come to you guys two or three years ago and said, hey, it's time to toss out all the mail protocols and replace them with ones that integrate security, all of you would have laughed at me," Levison told industry insiders. "You would have said, you want to throw out how many man hours of work, all for this hypothetical threat that we don't even know exists? Well, I think after the summer of Snowden, hopefully you guys have a slightly different attitude about how important security is and how insecure many of the protocols that we use everyday are."