Skip to comments.Lavabit's Ladar Levison: 'If You Knew What I Know About Email, You Might Not Use It'
Posted on 08/10/2013 1:25:46 PM PDT by NCjim
Ladar Levison, 32, has spent ten years building encrypted email service Lavabit, attracting over 410,000 users. When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was revealed to be one of those users in July, Dallas-based Lavabit got a surge of new customers: $12,000 worth of paid subscribers, triple his usual monthly sign-up. On Thursday, though, Levison pulled the plug on his company, posting a cryptic message about a government investigation that would force him to become complicit in crimes against the American people were he to stay in business. Many people have speculated that the investigation concerned the government trying to get access to the email of Edward Snowden, who has been charged with espionage. There are legal restrictions which prevent Levison from being more specific about a protest of government methods that has forced him to shutter his company, an unprecedented move.
This is about protecting all of our users, not just one in particular. Its not my place to decide whether an investigation is just, but the government has the legal authority to force you to do things youre uncomfortable with, said Levison in a phone call on Friday. The fact that I cant talk about this is as big a problem as what they asked me to do.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
What's stopping him?
It should not be legal for the fedguv to prevent him from explaining what they wanted him to do. That is scary and pathetic.
Execution? No, I’m not kidding. See Breitbart.
Every bit of info that Obama can obtain through spying, etc. Will be used to achieve his political ends.
That’s just who and what he is. For him to deny it is hilarious.
He was told to give up all the decryption information about the services he sells his clients. Orders from your friendly local government that is in no way spying on you....nope, not one effing bit.
Time to move the servers boys...
My guess is a more stringent post facto condition on some earlier nebulous agreement he’d made with them. They browbeat and threatened him IOW.
He says that win would be important for other U.S. businesses. If there were surveillance bugs in all products coming out of China, would you buy those products? he asks.
Big hint there: I think the gov wants backdoor access to everything.
“said the company deleted all of its customers existing email when it did that. Well try to do something nice for them to numb the pain, he said. Its not obstruction of justice if you do it before justice comes calling.”
very nice, but they should have done what Pirate Bay did which is keep moving the servers, something Megaupload dude wasn’t able to do as he was caught snoozing at his own mansion..
Typically, these secret orders, from the secret courts, stipulate jail time for service providers that speak out about the contents of the secret orders. That much was known several years ago.
Hmmmm, where is Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon now?
obama's big on backdoor access.
See also "goatsie"
Free country, huh?
Transparent administration, huh?
I hear Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves.
I guess....probably...it doesn’t matter really whether the coercion, intimidation, and threats are organizational or judicial. We know what the judicial side can do and Holder will be more than willing to do his part. And, we’ve all seen the power that our government organizations have be it the IRS, NSA, FBI, CIA, DHS (illegally or otherwise).
We are now a people who should be at full-scale war with our own government.
JimRob, John? Anything you'd like to add here?
You trying to get them in trouble?
Congress created that POS Patriot Act and now this man’s company has been destroyed through its ridiculous definitions of soap”law breaking”.
Worse, his 1st Amendment has been infringed and restrictions by the covenants you become bound by once you are targeted under the Patriot Act.
He can’t even discuss the details with his attorney under the rubric “We’ll let you walk away and live, at least”.
Anyone still support PA and its bass turd brother PAIN????
If you do, please explain why.
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that “Buying American” means supporting evil.
We are now a people who should be at full-scale war with our own government.
The feral government has declared independence from us. Maybe we should just let it go its own way.
The core of email protocols (SMTP, POP3, IMAP) and storage is all plain ASCII text, and all easily readable. As an admin with root access, I could easily read anyone's email with little effort.
Also unlike law enforcement surveillance, the target is never told by the government that he/she was spied on, and every person that is served with a FISA search warrant, wiretap or pen/trap order, or subpoena is also served with a gag order forbidding them from every telling anyone about it except their lawyer.
That's from EFF.org
I'd challenge that.
The 6th Amendment requires the courts to be open; since it is a closed court it cannot be Constitutionally valid, and if it is not Constitutionally valid then it is null and void. Moreover, I'd try to counter-prosecute:
courtissuing the order
I'd do my level-best to make them choke on their own
Then that non-answer should serve as an advisory to anyone who hasn’t already figured out that posts to FR are on the express-lane to “an essay”.
How is this possible: the first amendment clearly says
congress shall make no law… so if there is a law, then it must be void.
Seriously. That's how simple the whole thing is.
I follow one simple rule about e-mail. Never put anything in an e-mail you would not be willing to post on a public forum or publish in the newspaper. If it’s sensitive, save it for a face-to-face, or pick up the telephone (yeah, I know, they’re probably monitoring that, too . . . )
Breibart -> Hastings -> Levison?
Phft. Google could put a huge crunch in it simply by frontpaging the entire situation — with the reasoning that it is invalid precisely because of the Bill of Rights (and list the specific instances) — and if they really wanted people mad, they would close down gmail like lavabit did with a redirect to that info-page.
People would be mad and quick.
But he said “the core” — without taking advantage of various security options, some of which may be the default for certain servers — and I agree with him.
>> As an admin with root access, I could easily read anyone’s email with little effort.
The contents can be encrypted using common algorithms; methods no ordinary admin can crack.
They are going through the courts, like good citizens. Stockholders frown on companies doing unlawful things, and Google is a publically held company.
Here’s a quick tutorial.
Bush was a good president who surprised me post 911 on a good number of issues.
On things like Patriot Act, TARP, etc he proved to be an enigma.
You’ll get the gist of it in just a few quick paragraph’s.
Yeah, I know - that's what this guy's company offers.
I have not done any Linux email server admin in a while, but using out-of-the-box sendmail, it is not encrypted. Of course you can encrypt your emails prior to sending them and then they are not readable.
Yes, I did know that. Pretty sure most people don't use an email client that does that though.
They will never willing give up this kind of power...
The only real option is to develop a technology that gets around it - encrypted, distributed, P2P systems for ALL communications.
Re: “Typically, these secret orders, from the secret courts, stipulate jail time for service providers that speak out about the contents of the secret orders.”
If they break the secret orders, they are sent to secret prisons.
In secret locations, with secret guards.
And the secret judges and secret administrators are protected by secret immunity.
I can’t tell you how I know all these secret things, because that’s a secret.
So was I a Linux sysadmin but this is an application issue with next to nothing to do with the OS (except the part about sendmail).