Hushmail Turns Out To Not Be Quite So Hush Hush

from the privacy-is-an-illusion dept

Many people are familiar with the company Hushmail, who provides encrypted web-based email that the company claims is completely private. In fact, the company makes it clear: "not even a Hushmail employee with access to our servers can read your encrypted e-mail, since each message is uniquely encoded before it leaves your computer." It turns out that isn't quite true. Wired reports that Hushmail handed the feds 12 CDs worth of plain text emails from the service following a court order. The Wired piece goes into great detail concerning what happened here -- and the folks at Hushmail were quite honest about how their service works. Hushmail has two different versions, one which requires a java app to be downloaded, which handles all the encryption locally. The other, more popular one, is entirely web-based, meaning that your passphrase is stored on the server ever so briefly -- and that's how Hushmail was able to access the accounts required in the court order. So, while it's true that Hushmail is mostly secure outside of a court order, the marketing material on the site is at least a little misleading, implying that even in such cases, your email will be encrypted.
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Filed Under: drug dealers, email, encryption, fbi, privacy
Companies: fbi, hushmail

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  1. identicon
    martyn, 8 Jun 2017 @ 7:20am

    youre all scrapping over nothing!

    I'll spell it out to you in plain text!

    there is no difference between "plain text" and "plaintext"
    probably just a typo or a misused jargon.
    In emails there is only a choice between plain text or HTML
    like when you are a technophobe with a crappy slow computer and when you try to read your email your browser asks you if you want to view your email in plaintext because its loading very slowly and cant handle all the HTML formatting! you choose plain text! so I think that 12 cds worth of plain text is in fact overkill and hushmail has something to answer for! However i dont think that 12 cds worth would be all their users! thats just ludcicrous if you you consider that possbily a lot of their users might be business users who both send and recieve thousands if not millions of emails everyday, every hour , every minute, every second! ponder that for a while?? I doubt very much that 12 cds worth of emails even plain text/plaintext would fit all their users emails on! I rest my case!

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