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Heating up the email encryption wars

Kevin Senne
Senior Director of Global Deliverability

This week I am in Brussels, Belgium attending the M3AAWG (Messaging, Malware, Mobile Anti-Abuse Workgroup) meeting. What started as a place for email deliverability nerds; has developed into one of the foremost sources for privacy and security matters that are important to many of us in the online marketing space.

We’re looking forward to hearing some big news from Comcast next week, where they will be making an announcement about email encryption. Email encryption and security in general have received a lot of publicity with recent high profile security hacks and spy and whistle-blower incidents. Google has stirred the pot with the publishing of the “Google Transparency Report”, part of which details Email Encryption in Transfer.

Google supports TLS (Transport Layer Security), for email encryption. To encrypt messages, both the sender and receiver must support the encryption. TLS is becoming more and more common, and Google has started to report on who is sending encrypted email in, and also who is supporting the receipt of encrypted messages.

There were some interesting data that came out in these reports. Comcast for example, was showing 0% outbound encryption to Gmail. Many of the other ISP’s in the space were encrypting mail at a much higher rate. Next week will be an interesting test of the importance of this data, as media giant Comcast makes their announcement.

Look for updates in this space on this specific announcement, and any other exciting news from the land of messaging.

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