Secure email service providers Lavabit, Silent Circle shut down

Two of the leading secure e-mail service providers, Lavabit and Silent Circle have taken a decision to shut down their service on Thursday.

Lavabit, a Texas based company, which was reportedly used by Edward J. Snowden, announced its decision of suspension of its service on Thursday afternoon following concerns that it may be roped into the Snowden drama after it came to know of some secret government court orders.

The same evening another major Maryland-based secure email provider company, Silent Circle, also took the same measure of shutting its services saying it was following Lavabit and as a protective measure had opted for closure of its email service.

Shuttering of two of the leading email providers on the same day indicates that there are all the possibilities that emails, though encrypted, can be easily accessed by various government authorities and in order to prevent data of its consumers, there is no other option but to destroy the servers on which the data is residing.

In a telephonic interview with The New York Times, Mike Janke, Chief Executive Silent Circle, said that the company has already obliterated its server and that nobody can get it back. He also said that the company was of the opinion that it was better to welcome customer’s criticism than be forced to shut it down. The company has however noted in a blog post that it will continue its text messaging and phone service.

One its website Lavabit noted that it had taken the closure decision even though it had not received any government search order.