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Old 08-09-2013, 01:55 PM   #1
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Default Snowden's Email Service Provider Shuts Down Following Government Pressure

Reader comment:

cougar_w

fuuuuuuuckt

This is my actual worst nightmare.

This is my industry. They are totally fucking with my entire industry now.

Ths is going to blow up so fucking fast it boggles the mind. Oracle, Amazon, AOL, Yahoo. GOOGLE. Those fuckers are toast if they don't start kicking some Congressional ass into serious mo'fo motion.



Snowden's Email Service Provider Shuts Down Following Government Pressure

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/08/2013 18:04 -0400

Secure and free web-based email service provider Lavabit shut down today. What makes Lavabit different from countless other email providers who have shuttered over the years is that according to BoingBoing, Lavabit is the email service supposedly used by Edward Snowden. Which would explain the nebulous tone in the farewell letter posted on the company's front page by owner Ladar Levison. It also explains why Lavabit was shut down by the US government, although that was mostly inferred from the letter which due to legal limitations does not expound on the official reasons for the shut down - one can imagine. It certainly explains the following punchline in Levison's letter: "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."

We wholeheartedly agree.

Lavabit's farewell letter:

My Fellow Users,

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.

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
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
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Another reader comment:

McMolotov

No doubt this guy was served with a "National Security Letter" — probably by the FBI — and is, thus, barred from even saying he was served with a "National Security Letter."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_security_letter

http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/03/na...may-be-unconst

The whole Snowden ordeal, ladies and gentlemen, represents a country in its death throes. Secret courts, secret records requests, secret this, secret that... These are not the actions of a legitimate government. These are the actions of a government that feels threatened, not just by enemies abroad but also by its own citizens.

This government needs to be disassembled from the top down, and the pieces need to be scattered to the wind so they can't ever be put back together.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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National Security Letters May Be Unconstitutional, But That's No Reason To Disobey Them, Says Judge

J.D. Tuccille|Jun. 3, 2013 7:41 pm

Reason 24/7ReasonBack in March, U.S. District court judge Susan Illston ordered the federal government to stop issuing national security letters, saying the things, which come with attached gag orders forbidding recipients to reveal that they've been compelled to cough up information to the feds, are thoroughly unconstitutional. Nevermind! Now, Judge Ilston says Google must comply with an NSL after the company refused to do anything of the sort in the wake of the judge's earlier order. The feds went to court to strong-arm the Internet giant into submission, and they appear to have had their wish fulfilled.

From The Guardian:

A US judge has ordered Google to comply with FBI secret demands for customer data, despite earlier ruling the warrantless orders unconstitutional.

District court judge Susan Illston this week rejected the internet search giant's argument that so-called National Security Letters (NSLs) violated its constitutional rights. As such it ordered Google to hand over private information relating to US citizens to federal agents.

It comes despite Illston earlier ruling the letters unconstitutional in a separate case in March. In that case, brought by non-profit advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the judge said that such demands violated the right to free speech.


Google still has the right to appeal, which appears likely considering the frequency with which the company has battled governments over privacy issues. The Justice Department is separately suing Google in New York to compel the company's compliance with national security letters. Google has already skated close to the limits of the law by revealing that the FBI has targeted thousands of accounts with its NSLs.

In coverage of the New York case, CNet speculates that Google is fighting so hard because the NSLs it has received reach far beyond what the (very permissive) law allows. There's precedent for just that. An NSL sent to ISP owner Nicholas Merrill "signed by then-FBI national security attorney Marion Bowman, requested more than federal law permitted," including such off-limits data as the Websites people visited and their email header information.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:24 PM   #4
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Quote: Originally Posted by Smoky View Post

Another reader comment:

McMolotov

No doubt this guy was served with a "National Security Letter" — probably by the FBI — and is, thus, barred from even saying he was served with a "National Security Letter."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_security_letter

http://reason.com/blog/2013/06/03/na...may-be-unconst

The whole Snowden ordeal, ladies and gentlemen, represents a country in its death throes. Secret courts, secret records requests, secret this, secret that... These are not the actions of a legitimate government. These are the actions of a government that feels threatened, not just by enemies abroad but also by its own citizens.

This government needs to be disassembled from the top down, and the pieces need to be scattered to the wind so they can't ever be put back together.

We are not alone. This writer gets it.

Good post Smoky.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
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Quote: Originally Posted by Fred O'Malley View Post

We are not alone. This writer gets it.

Good post Smoky.

Thank you Fred. I have been looking at reader's comments, on articles from all over the political spectrum, from time to time, for the last eight years to get an unscientific "feel" of the mood of the general public. I have noticed a significant increase in reader comments decidely against the kikes about two years ago. More than a few get it now. They may be beginning to understand that the kikes are a major problem, but not quite there, understanding that the only solution is White racial loyalty.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote: Originally Posted by Smoky View Post

Thank you Fred. I have been looking at reader's comments, on articles from all over the political spectrum, from time to time, for the last eight years to get an unscientific "feel" of the mood of the general public. I have noticed a significant increase in reader comments decidely against the kikes about two years ago. More than a few get it now. They may be beginning to understand that the kikes are a major problem, but not quite there, understanding that the only solution is White racial loyalty.

Agreed. I saw it beginning to swing our way about the same time.

The thing that is lacking now (that they are getting pissy about the content) is to point our the kikes behind it in those comment sections. I do it all the time.

I'm especially active on gun blogs.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:

...the whole Snowden ordeal, ladies and gentlemen, represents a country in its death throes. Secret courts, secret records requests, secret this, secret that... These are not the actions of a legitimate government. These are the actions of a government that feels threatened, not just by enemies abroad but also by its own citizens.

General warrants--one of the primary issues the Rev War aristocrats supposedly fought the British against.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:37 PM   #8
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Lavabit Case Unsealed: FBI Demands Companies Secretly Turn Over Crypto Keys
Posted by timothy on Thursday October 03, 2013 @09:26AM

from the c'mon-fellas-it's-for-the-greater-good dept.

jest3r writes "Lavabit won a victory in court and were able to get the secret court order [which led to the site's closure] unsealed. The ACLU's Chris Soghoian called it the nuclear option: The court order revealed the FBI demanded Lavabit turn over their root SSL certificate, something that would allow them to monitor the traffic of every user of the service. Lavabit offered an alternative method to tap into the single user in question but the FBI wasn't interested. Lavabit could either comply or shut down. As such, no U.S. company that relies on SSL encryption can be trusted with sensitive data. Everything from Google to Facebook to Skype to your bank account is only encrypted by SSL keys, and if the FBI can force Lavabit to hand over their SSL key or face shutdown, they can do it to anyone."
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:41 PM   #9
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Snowden’s email service Lavabit consistently denied US govt access despite intimidation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation secretly obtained a court order compelling Lavabit, the email service used by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, to hand over its private SSL key, thereby allowing the FBI to monitor Lavabit's users.

The FBI order was handed down on July 16, according to Wired, shortly after Lavabit refused to bypass the company’s internal security systems to facilitate a government request asking the email provider to trace the internet IP address of an individual user.

Government documents indicate that the FBI sent Lavabit a so-called “pen register” order on June 28, forcing the Texas-based company to record the connection information belonging to a particular user each time that user logged in to check his or her email. Lavabit was then required to turn that data over to the government.

The pen register came down just weeks after the first Snowden leaks were published in the Guardian and The Washington Post. Among the unveiled programs was PRISM - a massive electronic data mining program employed to collect and store communication data extracted from internet companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others.

While the identity of the FBI’s Lavabit target was not disclosed in the filings, the suspect is described as having committed violations under the Espionage Act, indicating with near certainty that Snowden was the motivating factor.
The June 28 order, as seen by Wired, required Lavabit to turn over all “technical assistance necessary to accomplish the installation and use of the pen/trap device.”

When the company - which is now embroiled in a court battle with the government - refused to comply, authorities filed a motion to compel, saying the single user “enabled Lavabit’s encryption services, and this Lavabit would not provide the requested information.”

“The representative of Lavabit indicated that Lavabit had the technical capability to decrypt the information, but that Lavabit did not want to ‘defeat its own system,’” the order went on.

Prosecutors soon asked that founder Ladar Levinson and Lavabit be held in contempt “for its disobedience and resistance to these lawful orders.” A search warrant was issued demanding “all information necessary to decrypt communications sent to or from the Lavabit email account [redacted] including encryption keys and SSL keys.”

A search warrant and SSL key would grant the government unobstructed access to Lavabit’s servers, and a court informed Levinson that he would be fined $5,000 each day he refused to hand over the necessary information.

“I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit,” Levinson wrote on August 8. “After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations.”

Now embroiled in a costly legal battle, Levinson has already raised over $20,000 to pay the necessary legal fees. That makes up half of Levinson’s goal, he said, because unfortunately “defending the constitution is expensive.”

UPDATE: Lavabit has issued a statement in response to aforementioned revelations.

"The vast majority of the court records in Lavabit LLC’s fight for internet privacy and security are now public. Although most of the documents have been redacted, 23 court orders, pleadings, and other documents are now available to the public while the case is on appeal in the Fourth Circuit.

Lavabit was created so every law-abiding citizen has access to a secure and private email service. During an investigation into several Lavabit user accounts, the federal government demanded both unfettered access to all user communications and a copy of the Lavabit encryption keys used to secure web, instant message and email traffic. After having a motion to quash the search warrant was denied by Judge Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Notably Judge Hilton served on the FISA Court from 2000 through 2007. Judge Hilton subsequently issued a $5,000 per day contempt of court citation thus forcing Lavabit to surrender their encryption keys. Ladar Levison, the owner and operator of Lavabit, then made the difficult decision to suspend operations and “limit the damage to user’s 4th amendment right to privacy.”

The statement goes on to remind users and privacy advocates that by suspending operation, Levinson has come to rely on donations to fund the ongoing legal battle. It also describes how the new information about the NSA has led to a massive uptick in subscriptions.

While catering to a niche market for most of it’s history, the recent revelations about American surveillance efforts caused what Mr. Levison describes as a “massive increase in user registrations, usage and revenue in our final month of operation.” When the service was suspended on August 8th, it boasted over 410,000 registered users, of which approximately 10,000 were paying $8 or $16 a year for premium features like encrypted storage."

http://rt.com/usa/lavabit-denied-gov...imidation-659/
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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Yet Another Privacy Service Has Shut Down to Avoid the Feds
October 22, 2013
Source: Motherboard

One of the more unsettling chilling effects of the US government's quest to monitor everything internet users are saying online is that it puts a bullseye on the privacy services trying to protect users from exactly that.

Two of the country’s top secure email providers, Lavabit and Silent Circle, shuttered their doors shortly after Edward Snowden blew the lid off the NSA's domestic surveillance program. Now encryption services continue to drop like flies.

The latest is CryptoSeal Privacy, a VPN service that provides a secure and private way to use the internet. The company announced it's shutting down its consumer privacy product in order to avoid government attempts to access and monitor users’ encrypted communications.

CryptoSeal explained it must comply with subpoenas and warrants from law enforcement, and basically never anticipated this kind of intrusion from the top ranks of the US intelligence arm when the service first launched. Forced to choose between breaking the law or violating its users' privacy, the company threw in the towel.

"Essentially, the service was created and operated under a certain understanding of current US law, and that understanding may not currently be valid," CrytoSeal said in an announcement yesterday. "As we are a US company and comply fully with US law, but wish to protect the privacy of our users, it is impossible for us to continue offering the CryptoSeal Privacy consumer VPN product."
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