In early August, Silent Circle shutdown its encrypted email service, having been spooked by the government-spurred Lavabit closure in late summer. Now another service is following suit, with CryptoSeal announcing that its Privacy VPN service has been completely shuttered due to concerns about government mandates and privacy violations.
The specific cause of the shutdown involves recent information that surfaced about the Lavabit case, namely that a pen register order lead to demands that the service’s founder hand over cryptographic keys, facilitating the government’s intrusion into users’ privacy. Lavabit’s founder stalled this process as long as possible, eventually electing to terminate the service he’d run for many years. CryptoSeal hopes to avoid this hassle.
All records are said to have been deleted. Those who are losing out financially will be given a refund on their service balance, as well as a paid for year’s subscription to a different service that is mutually selected by customer and company. Should CryptoSeal come back, customers will then get a free one year subscription to the service, though there is no guarantee it will.
Said the company in its announcement: “Essentially, the service was created and operated under a certain understanding of current US law, and that understanding may not currently be valid. As we are a US company and comply fully with US law, but wish to protect the privacy of our users, it is impossible for us to continue offering the CryptoSeal Privacy consumer VPN product.”