Comcast has been beta testing Transport Security Layer (TSL) encryption for email and plans on rolling it out for Gmail users over the coming weeks.
Comcast spokesman Charlie Douglas said that the beta testing took place with some large Internet websites and some smaller ISPs. According to a story by The Wall Street Journal, Google publically called out Comcast and other email providers for not using email encryption. Google’s Transparency Report said that fewer than 1 percent of the Gmail messages sent to Comcast.net address remained encrypted during a sample day last month. Comcast is the nation’s largest ISP.
Overall, Google’s data show that approximately 40 percent to 50 percent of emails sent between Gmail and other email providers weren’t encrypted, according to a blog post by Brandon Long, tech lead, Gmail Delivery Team.
Companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo have tightened up their security and encryption efforts in order to protect email from government snooping.
“Many providers have turned on encryption, and others have said they’re going to, which is great news,” Long wrote. “As they do, more and more emails will be shielded from snooping.
“For people looking for even stronger email security, end-to-end encryption is a good option—but it’s been hard to use. So today we’re making available the source code for End-to-End, a Chrome extension. It's currently in testing, and once it's ready for general use it will make this technology easier for those who choose to use it.”