The service supposedly offers users anonymity, but the FBI made sure that's not the case
If you’re a user of TorMail, there’s some bad news for you. It looks like the FBI seized the entire email database from the company’s servers.One of the worst parts of the situation is that TorMail is supposed to be safer than regular email providers, such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail.
According to Wired, the FBI seized data from a company called Freedom Hosting, something that surfaced in a series of court papers that were recently unsealed. The FBI seems to have built its case in part by getting a search warrant on a Gmail account used by the counterfeiters currently on trial.
They found that orders for the forged cards were being sent to a TorMail account, so they got another warrant for that particular account.
“Between July 22, 2013 and August 2, 2013, in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation, the FBI obtained a copy of a computer server located in France via a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty request to France, which contained data and information from the TorMail email server, including the content of TorMail email accounts.[…] On or about September 24, 2013, law enforcement obtained a search warrant to search the contents of the Platplus TorMail Account, which resided on the seized TorMail server,” reads the unsealed file.
The fact is that now, the bureau has a copy of TorMail’s servers and can now execute endless search warrants on the mail service that boasts to be immune to spying.
Recently, another webmail service that was supposed to be completely safe for users, Lavabit, went through a bit of an ordeal. After it was suspected that Edward Snowden had his own account, the authorities demanded that Ladar Levison hand over the records. When that wasn’t possible, they asked for the master encryption keys.
This wouldn’t just give them access to Snowden’s email, but also to everyone else’s. Levison preferred to shut down the service.