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Communications Encryption Government Privacy United States

Encrypted Email Provider Lavabit Shuts Down, Blames US Gov't 771

Posted by timothy
from the land-of-the-free dept.
clorkster writes to note the following explanation posted to the front page of encrypted email provider Lavabit: "'I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what's going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.' No doubt this has much to do with Snowden's use of the provider."
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Encrypted Email Provider Lavabit Shuts Down, Blames US Gov't

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  • Re: OK. (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThaumaTechnician (2701261) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @03:31PM (#44513557)
    ..and to the dipshit below. It's an obligatory XKCD reference. https://xkcd.com/1022/ [xkcd.com]
  • by RatBastard (949) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @03:35PM (#44513599) Homepage

    That system go shut down by the Church of Scientology. The powers that be fear a populous they can not spy on.

  • Re:First Amendment (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @03:41PM (#44513661) Journal

    Exactly. Anyone involved in issuing or enforcing this gag order is committing a consipracy against rights [cornell.edu], and is a criminal.

  • by SailorSpork (1080153) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @03:52PM (#44513835) Homepage
    Also from the front page:

    What’s going to happen now? We’ve already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company.

    This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.

    Sincerely,
    Ladar Levison
    Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC

    Defending the constitution is expensive! Help us by donating to the Lavabit Legal Defense Fund here.

    He leaves a link to donote to their legal defense fund. In other words, he's still fighting it, but in secret shadow court.

  • Re:Legally (Score:4, Informative)

    by stewsters (1406737) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @03:53PM (#44513855)
    Yeah, until they pass an amendment, the government cant do shit. Here is the relevant law:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    He should make a public redress of grievances listing all the information he has and release it to the press. We need a Martyr to fight those in power. I just don't know if the operator of Lavabit wants to get crucified by parallel construction [reuters.com]. As long as they have a culture of fear, people will still refuse to stand their ground. This is not unlike what the Germans experienced in WW2 and Soviets experienced soon after.
  • Re:Bull-Fucking-Shit (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 08, 2013 @03:55PM (#44513877)

    > Congress does not have the authority to violate the Constitution.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Doesn't matter when every branch of government is complicit in the violation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korematsu_v._United_States

    Upheld by the Supreme Court.

  • Re:Context (Score:5, Informative)

    by ArsonSmith (13997) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @04:07PM (#44514029) Journal

    All of what you said would make sense if the evidence was in direct contradiction. Crime rates are not spiking or even raising, but going down significantly over the last 25 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Bull-Fucking-Shit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @04:08PM (#44514049) Journal

    The myth is that it's legal. What the NSA is doing is criminal.

  • by Entropius (188861) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @04:15PM (#44514129)

    Point. I know American citizens of Hispanic ancestry who worked at some of the telescopes surrounding Tucson. Their jobs, of course, required them to drive at night on country roads -- where the Border Patrol harassed them. There was a lawsuit; I'm not sure how it came out. (These people were culturally American; there are quite a few Hispanics whose ancestors lived in what was northern Mexico and became Americans when we acquired the Arizona area from Mexico, and whose families have been in the area for centuries.)

  • Re:OK. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lanforod (1344011) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @04:44PM (#44514513)
    RTFA you posted. Your statement is wrong. Canadian government organizations, including health care, are not allowed to store any data outside of Canada. It isn't that the health ministry (actually a health organization as per the article) cancelled a service to a US based cloud service, it's that they would never use one, or even consider using one.
  • by LordKronos (470910) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @07:18PM (#44516055) Homepage

    We came up with the modern national park (Yosemite was the first);

    You misspelled Yellowstone [wikipedia.org]

  • by OneAhead (1495535) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @07:51PM (#44516315)

    and then turning around and demanding we do something about their stinking shit like Syria.

    You know, the international community as a whole typically doesn't ask the US to interfere - it's only the US media and the hawkish right that would have you believe so. Sure, in every conflict, there will always be someone asking the US for help - often both sides in fact. If you're in a fight, it just seems logical to kindly ask the trigger-happy 100-pound gorilla to help you. If the US wants to fight at any side in any conflict, it can pick freely whose call for help to answer. But the international community, represented by the UN of which you have such a low opinion? In a large percentage of the last 30 years' conflicts, they've been trying to stop the US from going in with guns a blazin' because that would ruin diplomatic efforts. A particularly striking example was when it didn't buy the false WMD evidence against Saddam. That's when the public opinion in the US turned against UN (and France, to distract from the fact that a majority of the western European countries were opposed). So ironically, you're hating the UN for trying to stop the US from fighting other people's wars. You'd better direct your hate at those Americans who have been misleading you into thinking everyone is constantly asking the US to fight their wars, while people in the rest of the world were scratching their heads and asking "why do these yanks insist on being involved in every spark of conflict that arises?"

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @08:07PM (#44516423)
    I moved out 4 years ago, 1 more year until I'm a dual-citizen. What languages do you speak? Any places you'd like to go? The people I know who moved because they wanted to get away all ended up hating it. It works much better to actually want to go somewhere. If you are worried about jobs, start looking on international job boards and see where the jobs are. You can even apply to some when you aren't residents. Most will ignore you, but some will consider helping you get residency.

    Go someplace where you speak the language. I'd consider the UK, even though I wouldn't really want to live there. I could put up with it for 5 or 10 years to get citizenship, then you can go anywhere in the EU. But I'm happy where I ended up, though I may look into EU once I get my dual citizenship.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday August 08, 2013 @08:08PM (#44516429)
    That's what most Americans who've never left the US would say. In practice, there are few places worse. You'd have to work hard to land somewhere worse. China is better than the US, so long as you don't spend time and money opposing the government.
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday August 09, 2013 @12:07AM (#44517575) Homepage Journal

    "The amount of poverty (or near-poverty) here compared to my home country (Australia) astounds me. Huge portions of the population barely getting by...the run-down infrastructure etc. Not to say there's not nice areas too ... but it's really inconsistent."

    Welcome to our lack of forced-by-law nationalization of certain things, like healthcare and housing. You may have higher taxes and such in AUS, but you're actually better off than we are.

    " Education seems a bit lacking too "

    For America? Education has gone downhill since the early 90s. What I learned back in the 80s and 90s most new adults today don't know about, and it shows.

    "On top of that, I don't feel any more (or less) free here than in Australia."

    Wait a couple of years. Bet you'll change that train of thought FAST.

    " The US is also far more censored - it's actually quite hilarious seeing what they blur out or beep out on TV here."

    Welcome to part of the religious right takeover. What were you saying about freedom, again?

    "Ironically, even though rights are arguably more strongly protected, on paper, in the US than Australia, it also seems that they are more regularly violated or infringed upon in the US too."

    And that's due to the sudden drop in the education system. Civics and government courses are being wiped out almost as fast as classes on cursive handwriting.

    "I do feel more 'monitored' here. More subject to suspicion, identification, verification."

    Welcome to 1940's Germany again. You thought we got rid of this shit after WWII? Fuck no, Communism was right behind it. Better learn you some McCarthy.

    "Every man and his dog asks you for ID or the ubiquitous SSN"

    Because if we don't verify your identity and you do something bad, it's us on the hook more than you.

    "I was prevented from doing basic things like buy some over-the-counter cold medicine (because I didn't have a US driver license ... they wouldn't accept a passport, even a US passport!) or open a checking account at a bank (because I have no credit record ... why does that matter when I'm not even trying to borrow any money!?)"

    Because they think you're going to smuggle shit out to make methamphetamines, and on top of that, no credit record = you're fucking useless to our current banking system which runs RAMPANT based upon debt.

    "Cops seem aggressive, paranoid and unfriendly here"

    You better read more US-based news. Cops are fucking scum of the earth here, low-IQ yokels with nowhere else to go in life. Their only chance of retirement is to violate you every which way they can and make their career look good. (See Christopher Dorner.)

    "It just feels ... very unwelcoming ... not like the America I expected."

    Bet 10:1 you bought into the bullshit your own country allowed the USA to advertise over there.

    "The other thing that really surprised me is the bloatedness and inefficiency of the government."

    This surprised you? Tell me, just how ignorant are you of world happenings? Here in America, before it was nixed almost across the board (like cursive handwriting classes,) we used to have a 'current events' class.

    "In the US, even getting a straight answer on what process you need to follow is hard!"

    Because we made that information worth money.

    "I love the ideals of America, but they differ greatly to the reality on the ground........ Can I just say that as someone who has just moved to the US four MONTHS (not years) ago, "

    No, you may not. You're not even educated properly about this country. Blame your own country for that, because they're in bed with us. That you couldn't see that means you are just as much of a fool as 80% of this country.

    Just speaking as a 31-year old NATIVE of the country. Your 4 months of DREAMS means nothing compared to a full-lifetime of living in this hellhole, across several states, and having done it all from prison time to poli

  • by SplatMan_DK (1035528) on Friday August 09, 2013 @04:09AM (#44518269) Homepage Journal

    "Did you read what I said? I didn't advocate the UK as a better place, but as a convenient place to get EU citizenship to go to other countries in the EU that are better. "

    You could've picked a whole fucking other better country. Like Germany, or Norway.

    Except for the rather unfortunate fact that Norway is not a member of the EU?

    ;-)

    - Jesper

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