The company Cryptoseal has decided to shut down its encrypted service Cryptoseal Privacy. It did so after it learned from the Lavabit case that the government feels it has the right to demand encryption keys form service providers.
Court documents released in the wake of Lavabit’s shut-down showed that the US government believes that it has the power to order service providers to redesign their systems to make it possible to spy on users. Cryptoseal had been operating under the assumption that since it had no way of spying on its users, it was immune to wiretap orders, and the revelation that they may be forced to break their system’s security was enough to put them off altogether.
In a statement, the company said,
With immediate effect as of this notice, CryptoSeal Privacy, our consumer VPN service, is terminated. All cryptographic keys used in the operation of the service have been zerofilled, and while no logs were produced (by design) during operation of the service, all records created incidental to the operation of the service have been deleted to the best of our ability,
I suspect that increasingly such services will be operated by companies outside the US.
Meanwhile the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has gone directly to the US Supreme Court to challenge the NSA’s spying programs, saying that since these occurred through rulings by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts (FISC), lower courts would be unable to rule on the legality of the decisions. The Obama administration has objected, saying that this case should go through the lower courts first. The Supreme Court has not yet decided if it will take the case directly.