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Private email provider CTemplar is shutting down

Users have one month to switch.

When it comes to privacy and free expression, in some ways things are getting better, as more and more alternatives to established tech entities, wildly exercising their censorship over information and communication, are emerging all the time.

But in other ways, things have been getting worse of late. One of the instances is an alternative, the CTemplar email provider, now shutting down.

Check out some other private email providers here.

CTemplar has announced that the last day of operations will be May 26. Users are instructed on how they can transfer their contact lists as CSV or VCF files, and how to then transfer their emails to a new service.

On the latter note, those behind CTemplar said that instructions would be generated in a couple of days, and that a backup of accounts would be downloadable soon.

Users are also warned that unless they move their data from the email service by May 26, it will be permanently lost. At the same time, those who funded it are invited to contact support for refunding.

And they are thanked for supporting the service.

CTemplar appeared on the scene around 2018, with the message of regaining users’ right to privacy, protecting civil liberties, and right for anonymity by using fully encrypted email.

But it’s a tough market to break into, even with the rising awareness of how important – and how jeopardized – people’s communications online have become.

CTemplar took its name from medieval Knights Templar – but also based it on the notion of “Crypto Templar” while the service was there to provide an anonymous, end-to-end encrypted email. As ever – and for as long as encryption itself survives – this means nobody but people communicating, including the service facilitating this, can have access to that communication.

In other words, that’s the very definition of online privacy, the same way one would expect to have it physically, in their own apartment.

The way CTemplar described its operation could also provide some food for thought: who is today well equipped to live up to all these privacy and civil liberty promises, and survive in the market – and at what cost to the original promise?

CTemplar said they were “actively refusing investments, donations or grants from governments and corporations.” This clearly turned out not to be viable, at least in this case.

“We are passionate about privacy and security; this is what we love,” the CTemplar team said in its original “manifesto.”

Check out some other private email providers here.

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