For now it’s only available to those who had accounts in 2013.
Everyone else can pre-register for the next release.
Encrypted email service Lavabit returned to the Web on Friday after more than three years offline.
For now, however, it’s only available to those who had accounts prior to its shutdown.
Lavabit returned on Inauguration Day, Lavabit owner Ladar Levison wrote in a note on the company’s website, because “Regardless of one’s political disposition, today we acknowledge our shared values of Freedom, Justice, and Liberty as secured by our Constitution.”
Lavabit made headlines in the summer of 2013 amidst reports that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden used it to email political officials with a request for asylum in Russia.
The service shuttered a month later (as did Silent Circle’s email) so as not “to become complicit in crimes against the American people,” Levison said at the time.
“In August 2013, I was forced to make a difficult decision: violate the rights of the American people and my global customers or shut down.
I chose Freedom,” Levison wrote on Friday. “Much has changed since my decision, but unfortunately much has not in our post-Snowden world.
Email continues to be the heart of our cyber-identities, but as evidenced by recent jaw-dropping headlines it remains insecure, unreliable, and easily readable by an attacker.”
Lavabit 2017 has a few new bells and whistles. In 2014, Levison used Kickstarter funds to develop the Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME)—an end-to-end encrypted global standard—and Magma, a DIME-capable free and open source mail server. With the Friday relaunch, “we are releasing DIME and Magma to the world,” Levison said.
“DIME provides multiple modes of security (Trustful, Cautious, & Paranoid) and is radically different from any other encrypted platform, solving security problems others neglect,” according to Levison. “DIME is the only automated, federated, encryption standard designed to work with different service providers while minimizing the leakage of metadata without a centralized authority.
DIME is end-to-end secure, yet flexible enough to allow users to continue using their email without a Ph.D. in cryptology.”
For now, it’s only accessible to former Lavabit users, who can “access their accounts in ‘Trustful’ mode and update their credentials to the new DIME standard,” Levison wrote.
The company warned that it’s currently “in the process of restoring the customer database,” so if you encounter problems, try again later.
Everyone else can pre-register for Lavabit’s next release.
For a limited time, 5GB of storage will be $15 per year, while 20GB will be $30.
Eventually those prices will jump to $30 and $60, respectively.
“Anyone can access our free, open source library, and associated command line tools capable of creating, and handling the new DIME standard,” Levison said. “Anyone with a domain can deploy Magma or implement their own encrypted DIME compatible server.”