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EFF's STARTTLS Everywhere aims to protect email in transit

June 28, 2018 / Peter Loshin

The EFF's new STARTTLS Everywhere initiative aims to secure email as it transits the internet between mail servers to prevent mass surveillance, as well as email spoofing. The Electronic Frontier Foundation this week unveiled STARTTLS Everywhere, a new initiative that aims to secure email in transit by encrypting messages as they hop from one email server to the next as they are delivered. STARTTLS Everywhere aims to promote and improve the use of STARTTLS, a service extension for the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol that was defined in RFC 3207, "SMTP Service Extension for Secure SMTP over Transport Layer Security," and published in 2002. When a mail server initiates a connection with another SMTP server, it can demand to negotiate the use of encryption and authentication using the Transport Layer Security protocol. Sydney Li, staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and Jeremy Gillula, tech policy director at EFF, wrote in the blog post announcing th...