Silent Mail addresses longstanding problems with e-mail encryption: Obtaining and managing encryption keys required for exchanging encrypted e-mails and ensuring that encryption is consistently enabled for certain types of messages. Because encryption is applied to every message sent through Silent Mail, the service eliminates human error and helpfully enforces an encryption policy by giving users a designated e-mail account for sensitive communications.
With Silent Mail, subscribers receive:
- A unique "[username]@silentcircle.com" e-mail address and up to 1 GB encrypted mailbox space
- Plug-and-play setup with any e-mail client supporting SMTP, POP3 or IMAP
- Interoperability with other encrypted e-mail users' systems based on Silent Mail or other solutions
- Encryption protection provided by PGP Universal
- Flexible encryption options: Users can manage their own PGP keys or Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) certificates for maximum e-mail security, or choose the convenience of having Silent Circle provide and manage mail encryption keys on the company's servers
However, the service also supports those subscribers who are willing to accept the burden of managing their own keys in return for the highest degree of security technically possible (in this option, Silent Circle does not have access to encryption keys while routing users' encrypted messages).
"Using encrypted e-mail has historically been complex and cumbersome for users outside of large enterprises with dedicated IT staffs and their own encryption servers. Silent Mail relieves encryption burdens and complexity for our customers and – most importantly – provides a go-to account for sensitive communications that is always encrypted by default," said Silent Circle CTO and creator of PGP Universal, Jon Callas.
"We developed Silent Mail in response to customer demands for a more secure and protected alternative to free e-mail services and others that are not secure by design, that also complements our different, peer-to-peer encrypted mobile apps."