Tutanota has been served with a court order to backdoor its encrypted email service, The Register has reported. Matthias Pfau, the founder of Tutanota, described this as “absurd.”
The court in Germany last month ordered Tutanota to help investigators monitor the contents of a user’s encrypted mailbox. Tutanota has until the end of the year to add functionality to perform this surveillance.
This would destroy Tutanota. They are a very great service, providing a privacy-focused encrypted mail, calendar, and contacts. Almost all of their customers/users are purchasing Tutanota’s services because of its privacy and security practices.
This decision harms Tutanota’s business plan and whole idea. It can also run them out of business as the whole business and trust was about security/privacy.
I don’t expect Tutanota to shut down its business or pay millions of euros to fight back the court’s decision, but I do expect honesty and transparency. If they do comply with court’s decision, I expect the word “secure” and “private” be removed from their site and advertisements and I expect them to change the “Mail. Done. Right.” slogan.
This order is not about all users but rather only targets one specific user. However, the fact that activists and other people fear this happening again possibly to them doesn’t change.