Yet another American Internet privacy service has bitten the dust, prompted by fears about broad government surveillance demands.
CryptoSeal, a Virtual private network (VPN) based in California has decided to shutter its privacy-conscious service rather than hand over its encryption keys to the U.S. Government.
VPNs are secure tunnels to the Internet that allow users to mask their location, defeat regional restrictions, stay safe over public Wi-Fi connections, and maintain at least a modicum of privacy online.
CryptoSeal is the latest company to voluntarily shut down its service after the U.S. Government's legal action against Lavabit, an email service used by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
"With immediate effect as of this notice, CryptoSeal Privacy, our consumer VPN service, is terminated," a notice reads on the company's website. "All cryptographic keys used in the operation of the service have been zerofilled...all records created incidental to the operation of the service have been deleted to the best of our ability."
CryptoSeal didn't say in its statement whether the government was currently asking the company to hand over its encryption keys. It said that as a US company that operates under US laws, "It is impossible for us to continue offering the Cryptoseal Privacy consumer VPN product."
The company's consumer service had fewer than 1,000 customers, but was profitable, they said. While the consumer side of the business is closed, Cryptoseal will continue to operate its business VPN service, which the founders say is more amenable to law enforcement requests.