Two secure email services, Lavabit and Silent Circle, on Wednesday announced the formation of the Dark Mail Alliance.

The announcement at the Inbox Love email conference in Mountain View, California, follows the shuttering of the services in August.

At that time Lavabit founder Ladar Levison said he was forced to close after pressure was exerted to hand over full access to the email system which allegedly had an account used by NSA whistle blower Eric Snowden.  Silent Circle founded, by encryption pioneer Phil Zimmerman and former navy SEAL Mike Janke, immediately followed suit.

The Dark Mail Alliance said email was “fundamentally broken from a privacy perspective” and that its mission “is to open source the protocol and architecture and help others implement this new technology to address the privacy concerns over surveillance and back door threats of any kind.”

When Levison decided to suspend operations after what he said was10 years of hard work he warned on a post on the Lavabit site “against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.”

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