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Why Lavabit Shut Down

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the read-this-if-you-want-your-day-to-get-worse dept.

Encryption 304

An anonymous reader writes "Ladar Levison, founder of the encrypted email service Lavabit that shut down last year because of friction with U.S. government data requests, has an article at The Guardian where he explains the whole story. He writes, 'My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company's network. ... I had no choice but to consent to the installation of their device, which would hand the U.S. government access to all of the messages – to and from all of my customers – as they traveled between their email accounts other providers on the Internet. But that wasn't enough. The federal agents then claimed that their court order required me to surrender my company's private encryption keys, and I balked. What they said they needed were customer passwords – which were sent securely – so that they could access the plain-text versions of messages from customers using my company's encrypted storage feature. (The government would later claim they only made this demand because of my "noncompliance".) ... What ensued was a flurry of legal proceedings that would last 38 days, ending not only my startup but also destroying, bit by bit, the very principle upon which I founded it – that we all have a right to personal privacy.'"

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fist poort (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051725)

why not shut beta down!

USA, the land of freedom (5, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#47051743)

Where freedom refers to the the government being free to fuck you over as much as they want!

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1, Troll)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 5 months ago | (#47051787)

Proving once more that nothing American can be trusted. Being a super power I expect they think they are immune to repercussions from all of this- but you will find that having most of the planet refusing to buy anything American will end that super power status rather quickly.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (2, Insightful)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 5 months ago | (#47051867)

Let me guess...YOU live in the nation with the trustworthy government, and your country's companies make nothing but the BEST. Also, your feces is fragrant, like flowers.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051937)

The US Government is a corporate controlled criminal & terrorist network and your pathetic attempt to point fingers elsewhere will not change that.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1, Interesting)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 5 months ago | (#47051971)

The US Government is a corporate controlled criminal & terrorist network and your pathetic attempt to point fingers elsewhere will not change that.

All power corrupts, I'm not claiming exception, and you're a pathetic anonymous coward.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052153)

Okay, Mr. UcallHimDrJONES, if that is your real name.

There is nothing more stupid that someone hiding behind a pseudonym calling out an anonymous coward.

That is a serious fucked up case of cognitive dissonance that you have.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052335)

Um, His last name is really Jones, and he is a Doctor. Do you want his mailing address? Nothing like hiding in plain sight... What a pussy Jones! Man up, let's see the results of your last colonoscipy... if you really even have a colon.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47052267)

I empathize, nay, am nearly envious of folks who still wear the comforting cloak of naivity, as I did growing up in an earlier American generation.

Political corruption always exists. The extent to which it affects you is parallel to the degree your ruling class is allowed to interfere in your private lives.

Your country's government is not the one of the last high-minded do-gooders the World has to offer.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052527)

As someone who studied history and lived overseas, the US has its problems. However, it sucks less than other countries. If you profess you are athiest in a good chunk of the world, the locals will have your head, and your family's head, call it an honor killing, and jump with joy.

If you lived in East Germany, step over the wrong line, and you would get machine gunned down for kicks.

No, the US isn't problem free, and the Iraq was the stupidest theater of war on record. However, I can yell epithets about the politicians out the window... and get people clapping. That will get someone killed within hours in a lot of the world.

Realistically, other than Australia, north America, and western Europe, there are not many free countries out there.

The U.S. government is corrupt. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052861)

The U.S. government has killed or caused the death of 10,000,000 people since the end of the 2nd world war, and invaded or bombed more than 20 countries.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (5, Insightful)

dhammabum (190105) | about 5 months ago | (#47052067)

OK, I'll bite - so just because other countries abuse people's rights, that makes the abuse of the US courts and government OK? The point is: most other countries abusing such rights don't hypocritically pretend to be "the land of the free." Except the UK, of course. Once this may have been true for the US but that time has long gone.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (2)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 5 months ago | (#47052151)

I'm pretty sure every nation that has ever existed has claimed "freedom" as one of the attributes of its citizens. I've never heard of one that didn't. Can anyone help me out here?

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052085)

Owww- are your feelings hurt?

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 5 months ago | (#47052203)

Owww- are your feelings hurt?

Your mom.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (3, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | about 5 months ago | (#47052095)

"Logical Fallacies -- Changing the Subject: The fallacies in this section change the subject by discussing the person making the argument instead of discussing reasons to believe or disbelieve the conclusion. While on some occasions it is useful to cite authorities, it is almost never appropriate to discuss the person instead of the argument."

http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/subject.htm [onegoodmove.org]

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 5 months ago | (#47052189)

Agreed. Said fallacy was committed by "Currently Awake". He changed the subject when the topic "startups are helpless against force from the NSA" became "nothing American can be trusted".

Re:USA, the land of freedom (5, Insightful)

mariox19 (632969) | about 5 months ago | (#47052523)

Let me guess...YOU live in the nation with the trustworthy government [...]

What's your point, seriously? Who cares! Look, I'm an American. I really don't give a shit what other countries do, and I don't care if they want to criticize us about this. It's really neither here nor there. Our government is doing something very wrong, something that undermines the whole American Experiment—irrevocably. That's the real topic of conversation here.

Frankly, with the way things are in this country, I hope it begins to pinch our wallets. It's the only way most Americans, from the corporate bigwigs to the politicians to the straphangers and soccer moms in the suburbs, ever take anything seriously. People need to wake up.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (4, Insightful)

Tiger Smile (78220) | about 5 months ago | (#47052741)

This is a false argument. If a country is wrong in what it's doing, it's wrong. The US government is wrong in this case. They should have marrowed the search to specific accounts. They wanted to capture all communication, which cannot be justified without false statements. If it's wrong it's wrong, even if the person pointing it out is in a worse situation. People in far worse countries have always looked to the US to set the example. They have just as much right, if not more, to feel let down. We are not the leaders of the free world as much as we are the leaders of the mass spying on the free world.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051877)

you will find that having most of the planet refusing to buy anything American will end that super power status rather quickly.

Like what? Designed in California, Made in China?

If there is one place that actually manufactures anything it would be China, not US. US just repackages Chinese stuff, marks it up 10x and sticks a label Made in US - all fair since inputs were clearly 10% of the actual manufacturer's price.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 5 months ago | (#47051987)

That's silly. The US has more or less the same size manufacturing economy as China.

http://www.shopfloor.org/2011/... [shopfloor.org]

Re:USA, the land of freedom (3, Informative)

thesupraman (179040) | about 5 months ago | (#47052121)

You actually believe that shit? Really?

Do you realize that what it is actually saying is that in the US, manufacturers have much higher markups on their products than Chinese?
And of course carefully ignores the fact that most of what they count as manufacturing is actually assembly of Chinese produced components?

a few other titbits you may like:
'China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased $12.2 billion to a record $1.317 trillion in November, data released on the Treasury Department’s website showed. '
'China’s swelling foreign-exchange reserves, reported today to have reached a world record $3.82 trillion at the end of December'

The simple fact is that americans have priced themselves out of base manufacturing, and are only just holding on to 'value-added' assembly - most of the
base capability still left is held their artifically to avoid huge unemployment of the working class.
That is of course why the US has spent the last two decades forcing their own bizarre view of IP/Trade laws down the throats of other countries practically at gunpoint - after all the Romans demand their peeled grapes. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_virtue .

Re:USA, the land of freedom (2)

Knightman (142928) | about 5 months ago | (#47052167)

You are aware that the article is from 2011? A lot has happened since that article was written.

During 2011 Chinas manufacturing output increased by 23% compared to the US 2.8%. That $2.9 trillions vs. $2.43 trillions, a ~20% difference for 2011. Since then China has steadily increased their output while the US has been at a standstill because of the recession.

If you are going to post something, please read up on it first!

Re:USA, the land of freedom (2)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 5 months ago | (#47052851)

Even today, China's manufacturing is still mostly in the low-value parts of the market. Assembling circuit boards or making PC cases isn't quite like our still vast superiority in real heavy industry. The problem is that our productivity is off the charts via automation instead of labor - we just don't need a big enough labor force in manufacturing to support a large middle class based on those industries.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 5 months ago | (#47051883)

Not really. The US is not particularly dependent on foreign trade. Sure there would be some dislocations but it would likely remain a superpower.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (2)

click2005 (921437) | about 5 months ago | (#47051989)

Facts seem to disagree with you, the US trade deficit is higher than any other nation... bigger than the next 9 countries combined.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (5, Informative)

Knightman (142928) | about 5 months ago | (#47052019)

Uhm, you know that US imports most of its consumer goods?

That means that the US also need to export things to have a healthy trade balance, otherwise the economy will go in the crapper (even more so than it is).

The US has been running a trade deficient since 1980's and if foreign countries stop buying US made products it's going to be a huge problem financially. In March the US trade deficit was a staggering $40 billion. See http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/balance-of-trade [tradingeconomics.com] for current and historical data on the US trade.

In other words, saying that "the US is not particularly dependent on foreign trade" is patently wrong.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (2)

log0n (18224) | about 5 months ago | (#47052083)

The 80s were the worst thing to ever happen to us.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 5 months ago | (#47052519)

Next to the 70's.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 5 months ago | (#47052349)

Uhm, you know that US imports most of its consumer goods?

That means that the US also need to export things to have a healthy trade balance, otherwise the economy will go in the crapper (even more so than it is).

The US has been running a trade deficient since 1980's and if foreign countries stop buying US made products it's going to be a huge problem financially. In March the US trade deficit was a staggering $40 billion. See http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/balance-of-trade [tradingeconomics.com] for current and historical data on the US trade.

In other words, saying that "the US is not particularly dependent on foreign trade" is patently wrong.

The USA 'exports' 'intellectual property' problems to the rest of the world.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (3, Insightful)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 5 months ago | (#47052421)

Not really. The US is not particularly dependent on foreign trade. Sure there would be some dislocations but it would likely remain a superpower.

You don't shop much do you? Do you have any idea how hard it is to find any household items not made in China?

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052697)

Not really. The US is not particularly dependent on foreign trade. Sure there would be some dislocations but it would likely remain a superpower.

Really? The United States of Amerika is very dependent upon oil from Canada despite their protestations about environmental concerns. Obama is worse than Bush; a feat I never imagined possible in my lifetime.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052353)

Would Superman lose his powers just because you chose not to acknowledge them?? Guns, germs, and steel, we got all three, and lots of farmable land to boot.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052689)

Your logic is flawed. A non-sequitur is still the handiwork of a Troll.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051947)

I know this is /. and all, but does anyone here believe there is a government in the world that does not do this? EVERY developed (and some not so developed) country spies on its citizens. The only reason ANY country would not do as much as the US is doing is PURELY due to lack of budget/technology. All this crap about the NSA putting back doors in everything, do you think China isn't putting back doors in everything? If all the equipment that travels through the US traveled through instead, do you really think they wouldn't do the same? The fact that people didn't know/assume this was happening before the Snowden documents came out just proves how naive they are. What the fuck so you think the NSA is doing with all that money?

Re:USA, the land of freedom (3, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | about 5 months ago | (#47052125)

The difference is that only "enlightened western democracies" are so fucking hypocritical about it. The USA is the worst offender in this regard. They keep carrying on about freedom and liberty and other bullshit while implementing things like this, waging illegal wars, and trying to force their ideology onto the world. It's the hypocrisy more than the actual actions.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051979)

I know this is /. and all, but does anyone here believe there is a government in the world that does not do this? EVERY developed (and some not so developed) country spies on its citizens. The only reason ANY country would not do as much as the US is doing is PURELY due to lack of budget/technology. All this crap about the NSA putting back doors in everything, do you think China isn't putting back doors in everything? If all the equipment that travels through the US traveled through "INSERT COUNTRY HERE" instead, do you really think they wouldn't do the same? The fact that people didn't know/assume this was happening before the Snowden documents came out just proves how naive they are. What the fuck so you think the NSA is doing with all that money? Sorry for the duplicate post, I used greater-than and less-than the surround the "insert country" but and it got eaten by slashdot or the browser as HTML.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

log0n (18224) | about 5 months ago | (#47052177)

We expect it from China because they are [more or less] (not us, so therefore) a potential enemy, like Russia, like latest Islamatyrant, blah blah.

(going US centric) We were raised to believe that the US was better than what we're finding out it's doing. We were taught to believe we are a shining beacon of freedom, democracy, that our way is the best way - or at least it's the best way done so far - because look at all of the failings we see around us.. we take the moral highground making us better than the tyrants who do the stuff that we despise, etc.

There are a lot of Snowdens out there.. not necessarily in what power or knowledge we have, but that those of us that feel everything instilled in us about our nation's greatness is turning out to be complete bullshit.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 5 months ago | (#47052251)

We ARE better. We are not perfect and we are a lot harder on ourselves. A Chinese and Russian "Snowden" would have quickly disappeared with nobody knowing or caring.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (5, Interesting)

rev0lt (1950662) | about 5 months ago | (#47052873)

A Chinese and Russian "Snowden" would have quickly disappeared with nobody knowing or caring.

Or not. That's why you have both chinese and russian dissidents. And USA is the country that went after Assange as a 'traitor', regardless of his nationality. From the other side of the pond, USA does look like a police state straight out of 1984 - not only because of the huge levels of incompetence while monitoring people, but also because of what you just said. The level of brainwash that takes for someone to say "my democratic system is better" when its not actually democratic NOR pluralist is an indoctrinator's dream come true. Have a good look at the Roman empire, and why it has fallen. History has a tendency to repeat itself.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052637)

Lavabit should have moved the service to facilities in a country which respects freedom and democracy...lacking that option maybe tropical Cuba. There is no way I would have complied with their request.

Re:USA, the land of freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052707)

While I agree that, in my lifetime, the USA Federal Government has become the enemy of freedom and "the people", I would add that every Government has the power to destroy anyone they chose at any time they chose. The last vestiges of privacy are held by the bureaucrats in the Obama Government and not the citizens.

Paging Oslo (3, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 months ago | (#47051761)

Give Obama another nobel.

Yes, I am being sarcastic. Don't be a fuckwit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051795)

How dare you question the great leader! You fucking racist piece of shit!

Re:Paging Oslo (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051907)

It's not like they really had that much credibility to begin with. They gave the peace prize to Kissinger as well.

Re:Paging Oslo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052705)

Since when do they give nobels for being a raging spunk guzzling cock sucker?

Why not leave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051777)

I don't suppose they've considered locating a new service outside the US? The sad truth is that anybody who's looking to run a private service needs to look outside of the US.

Re:Why not leave? (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 months ago | (#47051835)

I don't suppose they've considered locating a new service outside the US? The sad truth is that anybody who's looking to run a private service needs to look outside of the US.

It doesn't help. Just ask Kim Dotcom about Megaupload... Right now, none of the Internet is "free" and it will take some major changes to make it so.

Re:Why not leave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051975)

I guess the Internetz really can't route around "damage"

Re:Why not leave? (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 5 months ago | (#47051985)

Especially when "damage" = "The USA" eh?

Re:Why not leave? (1)

Knightman (142928) | about 5 months ago | (#47052227)

Well, the MU raid was a cluster fuck of epic proportions. On the other hand I can't say that Kim Dotcom was wholly innocent either.

Re:Why not leave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052505)

Just today, someone talked about exactly that, in a comment about winning a suit about a crash of an incoming vehicle onto another stopped in the middle of the street: just because someone is wrong, that doesn't entitle anyone to commit an illegality.

The USA should not kidnap a non-national from inside another country. No buts.

Re:Why not leave? (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47051945)

It seems to me like he handled it a bit badly. Constitutionally, the federal government is not allowed to take private property for public use without just compensation. That is what they were doing with installing the devices and all.

I would have made a constitutional argument in court that the NSA and Federal government is using my network for public gain therefor I am entitle to just compensation according to the constitution and then lay out the ins and outs of it in the case. Perhaps he still can and claim damages for how it ruined his business in the process.

Re:Why not leave? (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 5 months ago | (#47052075)

I would have made a constitutional argument in court

Good luck rounding up legal representation from a cell in Gitmo. Any attempt to make a legal argument around the details of NSA's request would have them shut down as hindering national security. Push the issue and you're a terrorist and off to a little resort in the Caribbean for you.

Re:Why not leave? (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 5 months ago | (#47052467)

Good luck rounding up legal representation from a cell in Gitmo. Any attempt to make a legal argument around the details of NSA's request would have them shut down as hindering national security. Push the issue and you're a terrorist and off to a little resort in the Caribbean for you.

I think this is a stretch of imagination. If the USA was a bad as this statement makes us appear to be, then why is Ladar Levison free and able to talk to us? I would think he'd have disappeared without a sound and Lavabit would've been confiscated quietly.

While I agree, the Police States of America are getting a bit out of hand, it ain't quite this bad. Not yet at least. Headed there, but I like to believe it's not too late to take a different road.

Re:Why not leave? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052235)

The third amendment forbids quartering of troops in peacetime without consent. I'd argue that the there is no distinction between monitoring equipment and troops. Troops don't have to be human. We may one day have a droid army, so is the government free to post one in each business to monitor its activity?

Re:Why not leave? (4, Funny)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#47052469)

You just gave an NSA agent a surprise erection.

Re:Why not leave? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 months ago | (#47052553)

The third amendment forbids quartering of troops in peacetime without consent. I'd argue that the there is no distinction between monitoring equipment and troops.

You could argue that. If there is a judge involved, he wouldn't be blinded by the splendour of your argument. He would conclude that you are an obnoxious little twat making fun of him and the court, and treat you accordingly. I'm not saying that's what you are, but that's what the judge would assume. He would therefore decide against you whenever there is any leeway in a decision.

Re:Why not leave? (2)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 5 months ago | (#47052455)

It seems to me like he handled it a bit badly. Constitutionally, the federal government is not allowed to take private property for public use without just compensation.

wait, isn't that what they are doing with fines?? Taking private property (money) for public use (paying for policing) without just compensation.

Re:Why not leave? (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47052643)

No.. Fines are punishment for acts against the law. You are afforded due process of the law or your waive that by just paying the fines but it's an option if you don't agree with the fine. Fees are just that too, payment for services rendered or permits or whatever.

Taking private property for public use is more like the cop showing up and insisting on using your home for a stake out against your will. It's like taking your patented drug and manufacturing it for the masses because of some outbreak. It's like giving everyone a copy of your song, America the Beautiful because it sounds patriotic. It's like the government deciding the new freeway will go through your living room.

When the government deprives you of anything you own, they must justly compensate you. The English used to storm a farm and slaughter all the livestock and raid the root cellar to feed it's troops as it marched to wherever they wanted. I believe the original intend was to make sure the people were compensated if the US did anything like that.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051779)

I'm not surprised in the least. The US has had a history of being very crypto unfriendly. It's the reason why a lot of crypto code is written off US soil. If you were going to create a company revolving around encryption, I'd assume you'd be smart enough to found it outside US borders, or at the very least be able to see this coming from a mile away if you didn't.

Release all the code ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051783)

... open source.

Re:Release all the code ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051905)

Why? I don't think you understand what you read.

free country, my ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051791)

I always chuckle when 'muricans start spouting off about how this country is teh best because there are all these freedoms that nobody else in the world has.

Tremendous Respect (5, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | about 5 months ago | (#47051857)

for this guy who was willing to shut down his business rather than betray his principles and his customers. Note that the government doesn't appear to have wanted the passwords and encryption keys for specific individuals, they wanted the whole fucking lot.

I guess "Don't Tread on Me!" has been transformed to "Go Ahead and Trample Me!" :P

Re:Tremendous Respect (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 5 months ago | (#47052053)

The truth behind the story is that the government had a court warrant "to monitor a particular Lavabit user's metadata (name not disclosed, most likely Snowden), defined as 'information about each communication sent or received by the account, including the date and time of the communication, the method of communication, and the source and destination of the communication.'" He refused to comply with a court order and provide the metadata (email headers, not the body) after which the prosecutors obtained a warrant for SLL keys. Warrants for email headers are commonly obtained in criminal investigations and its not unusual or surprising that they wanted Snowden's as he is a subject of federal investigation for multiple serious crimes.

Re:Tremendous Respect (5, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47052181)

Did you read TFA at all? They were supposed to look at just one user's metadata but tried to expand it to cover all users data and metadata so they could have themselves a nice fishing expedition.

He didn't refuse to comply, he just needed some time to get advice on what he ACTUALLY had to do to comply. Being stuck under a gag order certainly didn't speed up that process. The feds were mad because when they said jump, he didn't salute and ask how high before the echo of their words faded.

Re:Tremendous Respect (4, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 5 months ago | (#47052363)

This is a better article than Guardian crap: http://www.wired.com/2013/10/l... [wired.com]

- June 28 - warrant for metadata for one user
- Lavabit fails to comply
- July 16 - warant for SSL keys
- Lavabit freaks out and still refuses to comply
- August 5 court threatens contempt and $5,000/day fine and Lavabit shuts down

Not making a comment on who is right. It's just misleading to ignore the first part hence you've been mislead.

Re:Tremendous Respect (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 months ago | (#47052463)

I'm going to go with the article where the person involved actually commented.

Re:Tremendous Respect (2)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47052731)

I think the two stories are consistent, including the timelines... except that Levison's version in the Guardian omitted the June 28 warrant and his nearly three week failure to comply.

Re:Tremendous Respect (5, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#47052433)

The truth behind the story is [...]

That a small business owner is ill-equipped to deal with the weight of the federal government coming down on him.

We learned that you can't go from nothing to fighting the FBI and NSA on constitutional grounds in the space of a few days. You won't even FIND a lawyer able to take up your case; nevermind be able to bring him up to speed, and get him the evidence you need, and have him prepare an actual defense for you; especially when everything is under seal, and secret gag orders.

He refused to comply with a court order and provide the metadata (email headers, not the body) after which the prosecutors obtained a warrant for SLL keys.

His version of the story contradicts that claim. I doubt you have authoritative inside knowledge as to the truth here.

Warrants for email headers are commonly obtained in criminal investigations and its not unusual or surprising that they wanted Snowden's as he is a subject of federal investigation for multiple serious crimes.

Have you read the warrant? Some how I doubt it. Because he's claiming they wanted a lot more than that.

The general consensus is that he handled his defense poorly, and as a result made things worse for himself. What this interview shone the spotlight on is that his 'poor handling' of his defense was, in many respects, entirely beyond his control -- trapped between tight deadlines, restrictive sealed gag orders, being a '3rd party' to the actual case instead of an actual defendant, and not having a lawyer already lined up and primed meant that he was effectively denied justice by these process constraints put on him.

I think he makes a good care here.

Re:Tremendous Respect (5, Insightful)

Tiger Smile (78220) | about 5 months ago | (#47052771)

It's far more clever than that. Normally the small business owner can appeal for help and fight. This is something that works for the public good to keep goernment in check, but they made even asking for help impossible. 1st rule of FISA Club is you don't talk about FISA Club. The act of mearly asking for help would land a person in prison.

Re:Tremendous Respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052877)

The court docs are open for inspection. The wired article has a link to them at the bottom. Lavabit has a clear case if you're right considering the feds are outright lying about the first warrant (according to you.) Have you read the warrants or any court filings? I guess you don't need to.

Re:Tremendous Respect (1)

tquasar (1405457) | about 5 months ago | (#47052143)

Was Ladar successful in protecting his company and customers privacy? He can not acknowledge nor deny that the government got access. He's not living in his own embassy or sharing quarters with Snowden so where's the answer. Being aware of security issues, was he able to do an emergency dump of data? A Fail-Safe scenario?

Thanks USA (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051881)

It was totally awesome coming home one day and finding out my primary e-mail account was shut down.

"that we all have a right to personal privacy." (1)

gTsiros (205624) | about 5 months ago | (#47051899)

No, not really.

None of them can be trusted (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051935)

No government on earth can be trusted. Every single one of them will lie, cheat, steal and kill to achieve their goals. The only difference is how much they lie about it. If you wish to delude yourself that "your" government is different, fine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW15CGAiscw

Good job capturing the "steamroller effect" (5, Insightful)

TFoo (678732) | about 5 months ago | (#47051961)

I think this is an important article because he does a good job of showing how the govt bullies people around -- and illuminating precisely why governmental power NEEDS checks and balances, like a functioning (not rubber-stamp) court and warrant system.

Re:Good job capturing the "steamroller effect" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052301)

Oh shit! You mean we can actually point out the flaws in our own system and NOT go to jail?

Euros, please shut up.

Re:Good job capturing the "steamroller effect" (2)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | about 5 months ago | (#47052341)

Right up there with Aaron Swartz [wikipedia.org]

The Gestapo owns the tubes now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47051981)

The negligence, selfishness, ignorance, and apathy of the general populace have seeded control of the most important event in human history to the sociopathic elite.

Re:The Gestapo owns the tubes now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052187)

When lambasting the ignorant masses, you should at least try to use proper English.

Ceded, not seeded you dumb fuck.

Re:The Gestapo owns the tubes now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052685)

You could also correct AC's improper English with complete sentences, but let's not be pedantic twats that miss the point.

Re:The Gestapo owns the tubes now (2)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about 5 months ago | (#47052941)

When lambasting the ignorant masses, you should at least try to use proper English.

Ceded, not seeded you dumb fuck.

Actually the use of "seeded" makes perfectly good sense, and is in fact a very evocative phrasing - that the control will continue to grow and spread as the 'seed' sprouts and reseeds among the sociopaths.

You, though, are quite a nasty jerk.

Substitute "China" or "Soviet Russia" (5, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | about 5 months ago | (#47052027)

You could change a few words in this story and make it about something that happened in China or Soviet Russia or any other oppressive nation on Earth, past or present, and it would be plausible.

I've said it before: The United States that I thought I grew up in? It wasn't real; it was a fantasy, a lie. THIS is the reality, and it's a goddamned depressing one. 'Secure in your person and papers', indeed. When was the last time those words actually meant something? Did they ever mean anything?

Re:Substitute "China" or "Soviet Russia" (4, Insightful)

log0n (18224) | about 5 months ago | (#47052219)

Completely agree. I'll quote myself for no other reason than I just 90sec ago stated the same thing earlier and you completely encapsulated how I feel. I have a feeling that there are quite a lot of us like this.

"We expect it from China because they are [more or less] (not us, so therefore) a potential enemy, like Russia, like latest Islamatyrant, blah blah.

(going US centric) We were raised to believe that the US was better than what we're finding out it's doing. We were taught to believe we are a shining beacon of freedom, democracy, that our way is the best way - or at least it's the best way done so far - because look at all of the failings we see around us.. we take the moral highground making us better than the tyrants who do the stuff that we despise, etc.

There are a lot of Snowdens out there.. not necessarily in what power or knowledge we have, but that those of us that feel everything instilled in us about our nation's greatness is turning out to be complete bullshit."

Re:Substitute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052333)

but that those of us that feel everything instilled in us about our nation's greatness is turning out to be complete bullshit

Sorry, the USA is not even "your nation", it was bought and paid for during the covert coups in 1913 and 1933. "Your nation" have been owned by European bankers and have been paying taxes to them ever since. Who do you think owns federal reserve.

Re:Substitute "China" or "Soviet Russia" (0)

myowntrueself (607117) | about 5 months ago | (#47052471)

Yeah

In Soviet Russia car fines you!

Brought it on himself (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052055)

The government would later claim they only made this demand because of my "noncompliance".

That was indeed the reason. The guy caused his own problems.

Re:Brought it on himself (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052537)

How does his noncompliance give the government the right to invade the privacy of a large number of 3rd parties.

Sounds more like they wanted him to resist so they would have an excuse.

Hmm (2)

Chompjil (2746865) | about 5 months ago | (#47052257)

Is there even any good encrypted email providers left?

All this can be avoided (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052297)

An Hollywood company ask me to make sure that all emails sent be employees were secured. We ended up using Truecrypt encrypted files, which would contain the actual email, then sending the encrypted files over normal email. All encrypted files were locked using one-time-use password from a reference pad.
It should be easy to warp the above process and let the user choose a means of key exchange.
This way all coms becomes secure. Even storing them can be done securely on the cloud. Cloud provider need not worry as they can collaborate all they want.
This method is secure, self-contained and prevent mass surveillance.

Nullify Obama.nation gestapo (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about 5 months ago | (#47052303)

Simple: vote NOT GUILTY when serving jury duty in **any** case of citizen defense-of-privacy  against Gub'mnt gestapo of-any-ilk. That vote , and the 2nd Amendment ought to serve. 

the chronology switcheroo (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 5 months ago | (#47052345)

Some people change labels CAUSE and EFFECT
as easily as they change store price labels.

Re:the chronology switcheroo (1)

visualight (468005) | about 5 months ago | (#47052571)

Ok, there's some security that cannot be bypassed by chocolate. But that's what the rain boots are for.

Tell your congresscritter this must end (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052385)

I violated the Prime Directive and read TFA, which, as an American, I found horrifying. For the first time that I can remember, I was inspired to contact my Congresscritters. If you're a citizen, please read the article, and then contact your senator/representatives and tell them this has to stop.

Re:Tell your congresscritter this must end (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052569)

Shame on you for RTA. You are banned from slashdot!

Of course you had a choice (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 months ago | (#47052587)

Say no, scram the company, and have your day in court. You didn't have to cave like a pussy.

Re:Of course you had a choice (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 5 months ago | (#47052913)

You first.

Can someone please point me to the Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47052911)

Can someone please point me to the alleged Right to Privacy in the Constitution, because I don't see one.

There is no prohibition against government infringing upon a hypothetical right to privacy, and certainly no expectation of privacy exists for anything transmitted over the Internet, which was created and built with government money.

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