NSA Oppression Forces Lavabit Email Service to Shut Down
|December 21, 2013||Posted by Staff under War / Peace|
This 2013 excerpt of Common Dreams, Oct 3, is by Sarah Lazare.
The head of Lavabit, the email service used by Edward Snowden, shut down his own company rather than comply with FBI orders to expose its 400,000 users to direct surveillance.
“[P]eople using my service trusted me to safeguard their online identities and protect their information,” founder Ladar Levison declared in a statement posted to his Facebook. “I simply could not betray that trustI simply could not betray that trust.”
Levison repeatedly refused to hand over information requested in the hunt for Snowden, who used the Lavabit service to organize a July press conference at the Moscow airport. He was dealt a search warrant in July, followed by government orders for “all information necessary to decrypt communications sent to or from the Lavabit e-mail account [redacted] including encryption keys and SSL keys.”
Levison eventually complied with the order, but presented the keys in barely-readable 4-point font on printed paper.
“If the Obama administration feels compelled to continue violating the privacy rights of the masses just so they can conduct surveillance on the few then he should ask Congress for laws providing that authority instead of using the courts.”
Ed. Notes: What if government — people addicted to power — were less worried about who might be an enemy and more concerned about not creating so many enemies in the first place? What if the US military quit killing civilians in drone strikes? What if the US converted its 800 military bases around the world into video arcades? What if America adopted economic justice at home so that geonomics could spread abroad? Then the world would become such a safe place, the war machine would become useless — and no longer a gravy train for soulless insiders who prefer spying on citizens and warring on foreigners. Yet such must happen if America is ever to live up to its self-image of home of the brave and land of the free.