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What web-based email services provide end-to-end encrypted & signed email messages, such as in PGP message format? Is special software (e.g. Flash, Java, or another plugin) required for the service?

Note: By end-to-end encryption, I'm talking about where the email messages themselves are encrypted and signed, not merely the HTTP communication layer from browser-to-server being encrypted with SSL.

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4 Answers 4

There already exists a standard for signing and encrypting emails call S/MIME. It's supported by most OS native email clients (and gmail with help).

Both the sender and receiver have to have each other's public cert for encryption (this public cert is sent with all signed emailed).

Only the sender needs a cert to allow for simple non-encrypted email signing. There are a few places still where you can get S/MIME certs for free. I get mine at COMODO.

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Hushmail offers end-to-end encrypted & signed PGP email.

You can optionally use the Java applet, which ensures that the encryption takes place on your computer. Otherwise the PGP encryption takes place on our servers.

Links to further info:

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Props for being honest by using Hushmail as your user name. – Kendall Hopkins Jul 7 '10 at 23:54
are there any circumstances under which Hushmail staff are able to access the plaintext of Hushmail messages? – sampablokuper Apr 22 '11 at 4:36

Network Solutions, the original Internet domain name registrar, offers (or resells) a secure email solution they call LOQmail. I have not used this product, but from the looks of it seems like it may fit your bill. I've used many other Network Solutions products and always been happy with them.

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Web-based solution?? – Chris W. Rea Jul 1 '10 at 13:44

CompletelyPrivateFiles offers a free browser-side email encryption solution called PointMX that ensures that your message is encrypted before it leaves your computer. It's built with JavaScript so there's no Flash/Java dependency. It's best suited for smaller messages (< 1MB) and doesn't allow for attachments.

From the site:

How it works:

You enter a secret passphrase that you will share somehow with the recipients of the message.

When you click Send your browser encrypts the message and we email it for you.

We have no knowledge of your passphrase or key, and your message is encrypted as it travels the Internet.

The recipients receive an email in their Inbox, and click to view the message. They must provide the passphrase in order for their browser to decrypt the message.

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