Comcast Will Start Testing E-Mail Encryption

Posted by at 11:33 am on June 5, 2014

Comcast is preparing to start encrypting customer e-mails, after a Google transparency report noted a lack of protection on e-mails from its domain. The company claims it is will soon start testing encryption on outbound customer e-mails, advising to the Wall Street Journal that it will take place “within a matter of weeks,” and it is “very aggressive about this.”

The Google report from earlier this week, using data gathered from a year’s worth of e-mails, noted that Comcast and Verizon performed extremely poorly in terms of the amount of e-mails sent using Transport Layer Security (TLS) over the last year, with both displaying a score of less than 1 percent for inbound and outbound e-mails exchanged with Gmail. In contrast, the vast majority of e-mails between Gmail and Yahoo were encrypted, with a 100-percent rate for e-mails outbound from Gmail.

Google transparency report
Google transparency report chart of domains using TLS for inbound, outbound e-mails in the Americas

It remains to be seen if Google’s push for encryption will pressure other providers into adding TLS to their servers, an act that helps prevent customer e-mails from being monitored by third parties, such as government agencies.

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