Hushmail is proof that not only does encryption invoke change and save lives, it's also possible to make a living in encryption. This service (based in Ireland) offers free email accounts to anyone in the world with Internet access. The big difference between this and other email providers is that Hushmail's email accounts are encrypted with PGP so that no one can access them – not even the Hushmail administrators themselves! It's as close to complete privacy as you're likely to get, if you're in an area that restricts access to encryption and personal privacy software. Hushmail offers basic email accounts for free to anyone; they also offer pay services that allow you to upgrade your email access and receive additional features and benefits. For most people (especially people without extra money to spare) the free email access will be sufficient.
2005 Update: In addition to free email, Hushmail is now offering a free Instant messenger service! This neat utility, called the Hush Messenger, lets you engage in encrypted IM chats with anyone else who uses this program. If you're concerned about your chats being logged or accessed by someone else, then this IM service is worth looking into.