The key element of the PATRIOT Act is that it allows the FBI to issue National Security Letters (NSLs). NSLs are used to force an Internet Service Provider, like Darkmail, to surrender all private information related to a particular user. The problem is that NSLs come without the oversight of a court and can be issued in secret. Issuing an NSL in secret effectively denies the accused an opportunity to defend himself in court. Fortunately, the courts ruled NSLs unconstitutional in 2005; but not before illustrating the need for a technological guarantee of privacy. Darkmail believes that a civil society depends on the open, free and private flow of ideas. The type of monitoring promoted by the PATRIOT Act restricts that flow of ideas because it intimidates those afraid of retaliation. To counteract this chilling effect, Darkmail developed its secure e-mail platform. We feel e-mail has evolved into a critical channel for the communication of ideas in a healthy democracy. It’s precisely because of e-mail’s importance that we strive so hard to protect private e-mails from eavesdropping. Hence, Dark Mail Alliance is an organization dedicated to creating an email protocol and architecture with end-to-end encryption. In October 2013, Silent Circle and Lavabit announced a project to create a more secure alternative to email and began a fundraising effort. The Dark Mail Alliance team consists of Phil Zimmermann, Jon Callas, Mike Janke, and Ladar Levison.
Dark Internet Mail Environment Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME) aims to be a secure communication platform for asynchronous messaging across the Internet. It was presented by Ladar Levison and Stephen Watt at DEF CON on August 8, 2014. Specifications There have been multiple revisions for DIME specifications. The latest revision is presented as a preliminary draft. First public revision, December 2014 Preliminary draft, March 2015
Protocols Dark Mail Transfer Protocol (DMTP) Dark Mail Access Protocol (DMAP)
Data formats Signet Data Format Message Data Format (D/MIME)
Server-side Magma is the reference MIME server implementation. It supports server side encryption, SMTP, POP, IMAP and HTTP.