If you’ve ever wanted to take back an email immediately after hitting the send button, then Criptext is for you.
Mayer Mizrachi, the Criptext’s founder, points out how his company is different from other encryption services. When I sent him an email asking him what time he was free to meet for an interview, it was routed through Google’s Gmail servers. But his reply was sent through Criptext, which holds onto the email. It’s then streamed to my Gmail account.
What’s the difference? Mizrachi says that his company has “YouTubed email.” I’m never in actual possession of his message. He can control when I see it, if I can forward it, and how long it stays in my inbox. He brings the point home at the end of our meeting, when he logs into his email and retracts all his emails from my inbox within seconds.
If this sounds a bit like Laura Poitras’ Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden fleeing from the United States government after releasing documents detailing its massive surveillance program, that’s not surprising. That film reveals how another encryption company had to shut down its servers after it refused to hand over its encryption keys to the FBI.
“Oh yeah, I loved that movie,” Mizrachi says with a wide smile. He goes on to explain with a quick PowerPoint presentation how Criptext has moved far beyond anything depicted in the movie. The company, he says, has the potential to revolutionize email as we know it.
Unlike other encryption services that focus on personal liberty, Criptext is geared toward business consumers. Mizrachi mentions an obscure story about how an email sent to the wrong inbox by a Goldman Sachs employee cost the investment firm quite a bit of money. Criptext wants to target industries in which privacy is paramount, like law firms and political parties.
The plan is for a free service that would allow you to send a few encrypted emails a month. If you want to send more than that, then there’s also a paid model. On top of the encryption service, Criptext also offers analytics for each individual email, including when it was read and how long a person looked at it
Your email takes on secretive powers with Criptext, able to make itself invisible at will. And again, you never have to leave your regular email service. No one’s been able to do that before, Mizrachi points out. The future’s unwritten for Criptext, but it certainly promises a much more secure one for all its clients.
Photo credit: Lauren Kallen