Ladar Levison (left), is the founder of Lavabit. Jon Callas and Mike Janke (right) are the co-founders of Silent Circle. Cyrus Farivar MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—At Wednesday’s Inbox Love conference held at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus, the founders of Lavabit and Silent Circle announced that they want to change the world of e-mail completely by putting privacy and security at its core.

The two companies collaborated to create the DarkMail Alliance, a soon-to-be-formed non-profit organization that would be in charge of maintaining and organizing the open-source code for its new e-mail protocol.

The new protocol will be based on Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol, or XMPP, and it’s set to be released in mid-2014.

The group will ditch the old protocol, SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), which is used for almost every bit of e-mail on the Internet. “This is just another transport—what we’re getting rid of is SMTP,” said Jon Callas, the CTO at Silent Circle. “We like to laugh at it, but there are reasons why it was a good system. We’re replacing the transport with a new transport. E-mail was designed 40 years ago when everybody on the Internet knew each other and were friends.” 4     

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