Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Lavabit's Ladar Levison: 'If You Knew What I Know About Email, You Might Not Use It'
Forbes ^ | August 9, 2013 | Kashmir Hill

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. It’s not my place to decide whether an investigation is just, but the government has the legal authority to force you to do things you’re uncomfortable with,” said Levison in a phone call on Friday. “The fact that I can’t talk about this is as big a problem as what they asked me to do.”

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bigbrother; nsa; nwo; privacy; snowden; spyingoncitizens; whistleblowers
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-80 next last
Interesting information about Silent Circle, creators of PGP.
1 posted on 08/10/2013 1:25:46 PM PDT by NCjim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NCjim
“The fact that I can’t talk about this..."

What's stopping him?

2 posted on 08/10/2013 1:28:14 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NCjim

It should not be legal for the fedguv to prevent him from explaining what they wanted him to do. That is scary and pathetic.


3 posted on 08/10/2013 1:33:17 PM PDT by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Execution? No, I’m not kidding. See Breitbart.


4 posted on 08/10/2013 1:33:38 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I aim to raise a million plus for Gov. Palin. What'll you do?.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NCjim

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.


5 posted on 08/10/2013 1:34:30 PM PDT by Bullish (Psalm 46)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NCjim

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.


6 posted on 08/10/2013 1:36:07 PM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NCjim
Dallas-based Lavabit

Time to move the servers boys...

5.56mm

7 posted on 08/10/2013 1:36:39 PM PDT by M Kehoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

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.


8 posted on 08/10/2013 1:37:42 PM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NCjim
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.

9 posted on 08/10/2013 1:42:18 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: M Kehoe

“said the company deleted all of its customers’ existing email when it did that. “We’ll try to do something nice for them to numb the pain,” he said. It’s 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..


10 posted on 08/10/2013 1:42:59 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
What's stopping him?

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.

/johnny

11 posted on 08/10/2013 1:46:27 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

Hmmmm, where is Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon now?


12 posted on 08/10/2013 1:48:12 PM PDT by bkaycee (John 3:16)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer
No, it's likely part of the secret court order. This was what the left was raising cain about when the secret courts were first set up.

/johnny

13 posted on 08/10/2013 1:48:31 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

14 posted on 08/10/2013 1:48:42 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

mornie utulie
mornie alantie

15 posted on 08/10/2013 1:51:34 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: OneWingedShark
Big hint there: I think the gov wants backdoor access to everything.

obama's big on backdoor access.

See also "goatsie"

16 posted on 08/10/2013 1:52:32 PM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? Soon we'll have both!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
Even saying that there is a secret court order (he hasn't said that, exactly) is unlawful. Yeah, it's that bad.

/johnny

17 posted on 08/10/2013 1:52:51 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: NCjim
There are legal restrictions which prevent Levison from being more specific about a protest of government methods...

Free country, huh?

Transparent administration, huh?

I hear Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves.

18 posted on 08/10/2013 1:53:26 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

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.


19 posted on 08/10/2013 1:53:30 PM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper; Jim Robinson; John Robinson
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.

JimRob, John? Anything you'd like to add here?

20 posted on 08/10/2013 1:54:38 PM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? Soon we'll have both!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: null and void

You trying to get them in trouble?


21 posted on 08/10/2013 1:55:47 PM PDT by OwenKellogg (Fundamental transformation is really starting to suck.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: OwenKellogg

No. How?


22 posted on 08/10/2013 1:56:49 PM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? Soon we'll have both!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: NCjim

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”.

Sohhhhh benevolent.

Anyone still support PA and its bass turd brother PAIN????

If you do, please explain why.


23 posted on 08/10/2013 1:57:55 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NCjim

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that “Buying American” means supporting evil.


24 posted on 08/10/2013 1:58:26 PM PDT by TwelveOfTwenty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer
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.

25 posted on 08/10/2013 1:59:58 PM PDT by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: NCjim
I used to administer an email server (Linux) on the side as a volunteer at my children's Catholic school.

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.

26 posted on 08/10/2013 2:01:11 PM PDT by Mannaggia l'America
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void
They may not be able to respond:

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

/johnny

27 posted on 08/10/2013 2:02:32 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
Even saying that there is a secret court order (he hasn't said that, exactly) is unlawful. Yeah, it's that bad.

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:

  1. 18 USC § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law
  2. 18 USC § 241 - Conspiracy against rights
As defendants, I'd name: And yes, link the defendants directly in the charges by including the exact texts of the order, laws, rules, and regulations it cites.
Oh, and make it all absolutely public, maybe a bit-torrented PDF to have it de-centralized.

I'd do my level-best to make them choke on their own laws.

28 posted on 08/10/2013 2:03:22 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: 2nd amendment mama

ping!


29 posted on 08/10/2013 2:04:05 PM PDT by basil (2ASisters.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Mannaggia l'America
Encrypted mail servers don't work that way.

/johnny

30 posted on 08/10/2013 2:04:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

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”.


31 posted on 08/10/2013 2:05:31 PM PDT by null and void (Frequent terrorist attacks OR endless government snooping and oppression? Soon we'll have both!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Vendome
Worse, his 1st Amendment has been infringed and restrictions by the covenants you become bound by once you are targeted under the Patriot Act.

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.

32 posted on 08/10/2013 2:06:09 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: OneWingedShark
People have fought it. Google and Amazon are fighting it now. The secret courts have not relented.

/johnny

33 posted on 08/10/2013 2:06:58 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

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 . . . )


34 posted on 08/10/2013 2:07:20 PM PDT by stranger and pilgrim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: NCjim

Breibart -> Hastings -> Levison?


35 posted on 08/10/2013 2:09:33 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
People have fought it. Google and Amazon are fighting it now. The secret courts have not relented.

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.

36 posted on 08/10/2013 2:11:11 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

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.


37 posted on 08/10/2013 2:12:41 PM PDT by steve86 (despairing but what can I do)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Mannaggia l'America

>> 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.


38 posted on 08/10/2013 2:13:14 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: OneWingedShark
See this for an EFF link to Google's request to publish the secret court orders that they are working under.

They are going through the courts, like good citizens. Stockholders frown on companies doing unlawful things, and Google is a publically held company.

/johnny

39 posted on 08/10/2013 2:16:21 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: OneWingedShark

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.

http://usbillofrights.org/patact.html

You’ll get the gist of it in just a few quick paragraph’s.


40 posted on 08/10/2013 2:17:06 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper
Encrypted mail servers don't work that way.

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.

41 posted on 08/10/2013 2:17:18 PM PDT by Mannaggia l'America
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: steve86
Good encryped mail packages retrain encryption throughout. Toy packages may not. I'm also a linux sysadmin.

/johnny

42 posted on 08/10/2013 2:17:52 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Gene Eric
The contents can be encrypted using common algorithms; methods no ordinary admin can crack.

Yes, I did know that. Pretty sure most people don't use an email client that does that though.

43 posted on 08/10/2013 2:19:07 PM PDT by Mannaggia l'America
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Mannaggia l'America
Out-of-the-box sendmail should come with a HOWTO on acquiring horse tranquilizers. I hate sendmail. ;)

/johnny

44 posted on 08/10/2013 2:22:04 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: null and void
This ability provides the ones who have access to it, to use the information for enormous profits only dreamt of by insider traders, to coerce those with political clout for protection, and finally/eventually as a tool to stop any ideas the people may have to put a stop it.

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.

45 posted on 08/10/2013 2:22:27 PM PDT by Errant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

sfl


46 posted on 08/10/2013 2:28:30 PM PDT by phockthis (http://www.supremelaw.org/fedzone11/index.htm ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

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.


47 posted on 08/10/2013 2:34:26 PM PDT by zeestephen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: zeestephen
EFF is among many fighting this crap so that it doesn't get that stupid.

/johnny

48 posted on 08/10/2013 2:43:45 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

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).


49 posted on 08/10/2013 2:45:39 PM PDT by steve86 (despairing but what can I do)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: steve86
That's why I said packages.

/johnny

50 posted on 08/10/2013 2:46:58 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-80 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson