With secure email services such as Lavabit closing their doors, the fate of encrypted email may lie with the world’s most infamous German-born New Zealand resident. ZDNet reports that Kim Dotcom and his Mega team are working on a new email service that will “run on its entirely non-U.S.-based server network” and will thus will be immune from pressure from the American government to comply with orders from the National Security Agency. However, Mega CEO Vikram Kumar tells ZDNet that the challenges of creating an intuitive email service with end-to-end encryption are more difficult than many might think.
“The biggest tech hurdle is providing email functionality that people expect, such as searching emails, that are trivial to provide if emails are stored in plain text (or available in plain text) on the server side,” he explains. “If all the server can see is encrypted text, as is the case with true end-to-end encryption, then all the functionality has to be built client side. [That’s] not quite impossible, but very, very hard. That’s why even Silent Circle didn’t go there.”
Kumar said that solving such a problem will take some “more months” but vowed that the company would never release a service that didn’t include Mega’s end-to-end encryption technology.