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Virtru Releases Its First Transparency Report Outlining Government Demands for User Information

Digital Privacy Startup Makes Full Transparency and Accountability a Top Priority, Becomes One of the First Small Businesses to Issue Routine Transparency Reports That Capture the Government’s Requests for User Data and Content


March 25, 2014 08:50 AM Eastern Standard Time
WASHINGTON–(Marketwired)– Virtru, a digital privacy company dedicated to making it simple to keep private communications private, today announced its latest efforts to be fully transparent and accountable when it comes to protecting customer data from unwanted third parties. The startup, which provides an easy-to-use, cross-platform encrypted email and privacy service, has released its first  Transparency Report, capturing government demands for user data and how the company is handling these requests.

Founded on the belief that privacy is a fundamental human right and that everyday personal and business communications can and should be protected, Virtru has taken a strong stand in favor of user privacy as outlined in its privacy policy and government surveillance FAQ, which are openly published on the company’s website. Virtru will only release personal information if required by court order based on the Fourth Amendment’s standard of probable cause that identifies a user or account subject to legitimate surveillance. Additionally, the company open sources key elements of its system and code, opening it up to external examination and critique. Now, with the Transparency Report, Virtru is proactively sharing with its users and privacy groups a detailed account of government requests for encryption keys based on criminal and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) search warrants, subpoenas, pen/trap orders and wiretaps.

“As a digital privacy company, Virtru recognizes that being 100% transparent with our customers is vital to establishing credibility and trust with the audiences we serve,” said John Ackerly, CEO and Co-Founder of Virtru. “We believe our customers and the public at large, deserve to know what companies and governments are doing with their data — throughout its lifetime, wherever it travels. People should be entitled to the same legal protections for digital data as they have with physical files and protecting one’s privacy online shouldn’t be cumbersome or cost prohibitive.”

A key feature of Virtru’s technology architecture is that it doesn’t store user emails or files. As of the filing of this Transparency Report, Virtru has not received any government requests for any user data or encryption keys. Virtru plans to release its next Transparency Report in September 2014.

“Virtru is taking all the necessary steps to become a responsible privacy leader,” said Tim Edgar, Visiting Fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies and the first Director of Privacy and Civil Liberties for the Obama White House National Security Staff. “Every day, new technology and technology services come along that erode privacy. It’s high time everyone had the basic technology tools to reclaim their privacy and the peace-of-mind knowing there are companies out there that will protect their personal information and fight government overreach. Virtru does both.”

About Virtru
Virtru is the first company to make email privacy accessible to everyone. With a single plug-in, Virtru empowers individuals and businesses to control who receives, reviews, and retains their digital information — wherever it travels, throughout its lifespan. The company has set a new standard for digital privacy based on the Trusted Data Format (TDF), created by Virtru Co-Founder Will Ackerly and used by the intelligence community to secure some of the nation’s most sensitive data. Virtru requires no special skills or knowledge, supports all popular email and file types, and can be used on a PC, Mac or mobile device. To learn more about the company, visit http://www.virtru.com/ and follow @virtruprivacy on Twitter.