Interview with HushMail Encrypted Email Provider
0)Please tell us, what is your role (in the email provider company, where do you stand, owner, marketer, advertiser etc)?
Ben Cutler, CEO of Hush Communications.
1 ) Does HushMail keep or enforce any logs, IP Addresses, Timestamps, Bandwidth caps, Traffic or other data on users?
2) What type of Encryption do you use to secure emails?
We use OpenPGP for our encryption. Users have the option of sending both encrypted and un-encrypted email. Email sent from one Hushmail user to another is encrypted automatically.
All interactions a user has with our servers are done over SSL, in fact we have been doing this since the service began back in 1999.
3) Where are your servers located and what jurisdiction do you operate under?
Our servers and our operations are located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We believe a key benefit of using Hushmail is that the service is hosted entirely in Canada.
4) When a user deletes an email or draft, is it actually deleted? (many mainstream providers keep users email even after deletion)
When a user deletes an email it is deleted from the server. It may reside in our backups for a period of approximately three weeks.
5) How do you generally handle requests from law enforcement?
Under normal circumstances, we do not and will never disclose account data to anyone other than the owner of an account. We will always attempt to authenticate any requests that require the disclosure of account data to ensure they come from the account owner. If we are unable to successfully authenticate a request, we do not disclose any account data.
We will only disclose account data in the following circumstances:
1. If we receive an order enforceable under the laws of British Columbia, Canada, compelling us to disclose account data for a specific user account. The account data we disclose may include data in an unencrypted format. Because such orders generally state that we are not permitted to disclose the existence of the order to a user, we will not disclose to any user the existence, or nonexistence, of any order we may have received.
2. Where there are exigent circumstances, such as where the safety or well-being of an individual or individuals is in imminent danger, and we believe in good faith that the disclosure of account data is reasonably necessary to protect against such harm, we will disclose account data. This may include but is not limited to the welfare of a child, or an act of terrorism.
3. We comply with Canadian Bill C-22 as enacted into law in Canada. “An act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service”. This means that should we become aware of a user that is using the Hush service for the transmission or storage of Internet child pornography, we are required to report this to the appropriate authorities and preserve data in the user’s account. As a result of this notification, we may receive an order enforceable in British Columbia, Canada, requiring the disclosure of account data.
6) Do you track users in any way with trackers, advertisements, or cookies?
We do not use any third party advertising providers at all. A key benefit to using Hushmail is that we do not rely on advertising revenue to support the service.
7) How much do your encrypted email services cost?
Hushmail is available for free, users can though upgrade to Premium for more storage and other features. Hushmail Premium costs $34.99 per year it comes with 1GB of storage, and the ability to create email aliases (temporary email addresses). Hushmail Premium Desktop costs $49.98 per year and comes with 10GB of storage, email aliases, and POP/IMAP access so the account can be used with email clients and mobile apps.