Silent Circle and Lavabit form Dark Mail Alliance to create new encrypted email technology

Encrypted communication specialists Silent Circle and Lavabit have formed a partnership to develop a new system of encrypting email under the moniker Dark Mail Alliance.

Both companies abruptly shut down their encrypted email platform without warning in August after Lavabit said the firm was under pressure from the secret court orders in the US to hand over data.

Silent Circle quickly followed suit, stating it could "see the writing on the wall" after Lavabit's announcement.

On the Dark Mail Alliance website, the pair outline their mission as "to bring the world our unique end-to-end encrypted protocol and architecture that is the 'next-generation' of private and secure email."

"Our goal is to open source the protocol and architecture and help others implement this new technology to address privacy concerns against surveillance and back door threats of any kind."

The new system is described as "Email 3.0" and "the worlds first end-to-end encrypted" service, which it plans to spread throughout the world's email providers.

The announcement of the new service, follows the assertion by Silent Circle CEO Mark Janke that "email is fundamentally broken" at a roundtable attended by ITProPortal.

"This is an opportunity to create a new email service where the keys are created on the device and only the user can decrypt it," Janke has since told Forbes.

"We're taking our inspiration from the Rebel Alliance," added Lavabit founder Ladar Levison. "We're the rebels who have decided privacy is too important to compromise on. We're fighting to bring privacy back to the Internet."