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Cryptoseal shuts down consumer VPN service over legal concerns

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This month, visitors to the Cryptoseal Privacy VPN service were met with a troubling announcement: the service is shutting down. Spurred by the same concerns that led to Lavabit and Silent Mail's shutdowns, the Cryptoseal founders left a statement saying the company was concerned by the courts apparent ability to compel cryptographic keys from otherwise untappable services, and "until this matter is settled, we are unable to proceed with our service." For any affected users, the service is offering a full refund of their service balance, as well as a one-year subscription to a VPN service based outside the US.

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. "Our Connect business customers actually want their communications monitored," says co-founder Ryan Lackey. "They’re also in regulated industries, and are subject to a lot more monitoring than just the potential threat of a court ordered pen trap." The company is looking into alternative options for consumer VPNs, which they say could be ready as early as next year, but until that product is ready, Lackey says the Lavabit disclosures left them no choice but to shut down.