Encrypted email is a must for individuals that value their privacy and often times anonnymity. A few months ago I offered a free open source solution for that email encryption in the form of Gnu Privacy guard, which employs PGP (Or pretty good privacy).
Not long after that post I recommended Hushmail as a free web based service that also uses PGP to encrypt your mail on the fly without you really having to know anything about PGP.
It turns out though, that sometimes the do it yourself open source solution can be better than that of a commercial solution. Especially when it comes to your privacy and the government.
Wired recently reported that Hushmail was court ordered to hand over a number of emails to federal authorities in a joint Canandian, U.S. investigation.
A September court document (.pdf) from a federal prosecution of alleged steroid dealers reveals the Canadian company turned over 12 CDs worth of e-mails from three Hushmail accounts, following a court order obtained through a mutual assistance treaty between the U.S. and Canada. The charging document alleges that many Chinese wholesale steroid chemical providers, underground laboratories and steroid retailers do business over Hushmail.
If you were using that service, it may be time to look for other encryption methods for your email. I am still recommending Gnu Privacy Guard as it allows you to control the encryption yourself before your email ever crosses the wire, and you can use it with any email service your already have whether you use hotmail, gmail, yahoo mail etc. The big problem with Hushmail is that you must rely on their servers which you have no control of.
Read the full story here: (Wired Blog Network)