In the wake of Edward Snowden’s release of info on top-secret NSA spying programs, his reported encrypted email service is now shutting its doors rather than, allegedly, complying with U.S. government requests to release confidential information. Silent Circle, an encrypted email, phone, and text service, reportedly used by not only Snowden, but by the rich, famous, and very private, said it would no longer provide its email services, but would continue to provide its phone and text services. Lavabit, a similar encrypted email service, also appears to be additional Snowden collateral damage, shuttering its doors in the wake of government requests. You can check out messages from the founders on their homepages here- Lavabit, Silent Circle.
These takedowns come on the heels of Freedom Hosting, which provides various anonymous services through the Tor network (one of privacy enthusiasts favorite tools), being shut down. Although the Freedom Hosting takedown appears to be directly related to the site’s hosting of child pornography and its founder reportedly arrested, the FBI has been implicated in infiltrating Freedom Hosting with the use of Malware. More info from Wired available here.
Whether you think Snowden is a traitor or Jason Bourne (so say young people according to Sen. McCain here), the repercussions for his release of classified info do not appear to be waning any time soon.
Still want the best encrypted email out there? Check out this post by Extreme Tech.
What about the best encrypted cloud services, you say? LifeHacker out of Australia has some great recommendations- including ways to encrypt your current non-encrypted more mainstream services (eg dropbox, box.net, SkyDrive, etc.) here.