Phil Zimmermann invented the encryption software called PGP and he founded Silent Circle. You know who Ladar Levison is. The two are joining forces to create something called the Dark Mail Alliance. From the Washington Post:
[T]he companies are teaming up with plans to offer an open-source tool that could make peer-to-peer, end-to-end encryption an easy add-on for any email service. The challenging part: they need to get other email providers – especially the heavyweights, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft — to join them in offering the tool.
The easy part: the name, which sounds like a group of superheroes — or supervillains — depending on your perspective on monitoring and data-mining email. Lavabit and Silent Circle are the first two members of the “Dark Mail Alliance,” a group of email providers who will give users control over the privacy of their email so that it can’t be handed over to third parties, scanned for ads, or easily hijacked by an interceptor. “We’re taking our inspiration from the Rebel Alliance,” says Levison. “We’re the rebels who have decided privacy is too important to compromise on. We’re fighting to bring privacy back to the Internet.”