The government strikes again, but finds yet another American willing to fight. Applause is not enough!

Summary:  As the Second Republic fades away, the Constitution abandoned, the government grows more powerful and bolder. As we see in its latest strike against Edward Snowden. But this time something strange happened. They came up against yet another American. A real American, willing to fight for the Republic against the government even at great personal cost. Don’t treat this as a spectator sport, with yourself as a consumer of news. Write your representatives. If you can, support the organizations on the front lines.

Lavabit

“Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis, Chapter 12 (1959)

Contents

  1. The Empire strikes at Lavabit
  2. About Lavabit
  3. About National Security Letters
  4. Updates
  5. What was the Liberty Tree?
  6. For More Information

(1)  The Empire strikes at Lavabit

Lavabit was founded circa 2004 by Dallas programmers to provide (from their Features page) “a priceless level of security, particularly for customers that use e-mail to exchange sensitive information.”  They claim to have 350 thousand clients, reportedly one was Edward Snowden. Lavabit appears to have been served with a National Security Letter by the US government. Unlike the big telecom companies, however, Lavabit took the high road.  The Founders cheer!  Their home page now reads:

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

Defending the constitution is expensive! Help us by donating to the Lavabit Legal Defense Fund here.

Lavabit deserves our support!

(2)  About Lavabit

From Wired:

LIberty Tree
Let’s watch while they cut it down!

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Based in Texas, Lavabit attracted attention last month when NSA leaker Edward Snowden used an email account with the service to invite human rights workers and lawyers to a press conference in the Moscow airport where he was then confined. A PGP crypto key apparently registered by Snowden with a Lavabit address suggests he’s favored the service since January 2010 — well before he became the most important whistleblower in a generation.

… Reading between the lines, it’s reasonable to assume Levison has been fighting either a National Security Letter seeking customer information — which comes by default with a gag order — or a full-blown search or eavesdropping warrant. Court records show that, in June, Lavabit complied with a routine search warrant targeting a child pornography suspect in a federal case in Maryland. That suggests that Levison isn’t a privacy absolutist. Whatever compelled him to shut down now must have been exceptional.

… Lavabit has 350,000 users who aren’t Edward Snowden, and some are decidedly unhappy with Levison’s decision, judging by a flood of angry comments posted to Lavabit’s Facebook page this afternoon.

“Too bad that I payed some years in advance to keep up the good work that now turns out to be terminated without any warning,” wrote one user. “I relied on this service which is basic for my private as professional online communication and have no idea how to migrate mails and recover mails being sent that never reached me in the past 18 hours.”

“I have my Steam account and EVERYTHING on Lavabit,” wrote another. “Please have the servers running so that we can migrate our services.”

“How am I supposed to migrate?” a third user added. “Some services require a confirmation sent to the old email address to be able to switch. I can’t believe this. I just switched to Lavabit only a couple of weeks ago to get away from Hotmail snooping my shit.”

A minority of commenters were more supportive.

“Holy shit, you guys are crying over your Steam accounts. Just change your email to something else. Lavabit either had to roll over for the government, compromising our privacy, or shut down service. Be happy Ladar shut it down instead of rolling over.”

(3)  About National Security Letters

(a)  From the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“defending your rights in the digital world”):

Of all the dangerous government surveillance powers that were expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act the National Security Letter (NSL) power under 18 U.S.C. § 2709 as expanded by PATRIOT Section 505 is one of the most frightening and invasive. These letters served on communications service providers like phone companies and ISPs allow the FBI to secretly demand data about ordinary American citizens’ private communications and Internet activity without any meaningful oversight or prior judicial review. Recipients of NSLs are subject to a gag order that forbids them from ever revealing the letters’ existence to their coworkers to their friends or even to their family members much less the public.

Donate to the EFF here!

(b) What It’s Like to Get a National-Security Letter“, The New Yorker, 28 June 2013

In the summer of 2011, while he was fighting an indictment for alleged computer crimes, Aaron Swartz, an information activist, read Kafka’s “The Trial” and commented on it at his Web site.

A deep and magnificent work. I’d not really read much Kafka before and had grown up led to believe that it was a paranoid and hyperbolic work, dystopian fiction in the style of George Orwell. Yet I read it and found it was precisely accurate—every single detail perfectly mirrored my own experience. This isn’t fiction, but documentary.

His words came back to me in force last week when I spoke with Brewster Kahle, the founder of the nonprofit Internet Archive, perhaps the greatest of our digital libraries, and of the Wayback Machine, which allows you to browse an archive of the Web that reaches back to 1996. He is one of very few people in the United States who can talk about receiving a national-security letter. These letters are one of the ways government agencies, in particular the F.B.I., can demand data from organizations in matters related to national security. They do not require prior approval from a judge, only the assertion that the information demanded is relevant to a national-security investigation. Recipients of a national-security letter typically are not allowed to disclose it.

Kahle’s experience has new purchase in light of recent stories of secret courts and mass surveillance; the machinery of our government seems to have taken on an irrational life of its own. We live in a surreal world in which a “transparent” government insists on the need for secret courts; our President prosecutes whistle-blowers and maintains a secret “kill list”; and private information is collected in secret and stored indefinitely by intelligence agencies.

(c)  Google’s “Transparency Report“, listing orders to them from the US government.

(d)  Articles by the American Civil Liberties Union about National Security Letters. Donate to the ACLU here.

(4) Updates

(a) How the Government Killed a Secure E-mail Company“, Michael Phillips, The New Yorker, 9 August 2013 — Assembles the pieces to tell the story of Lavabit.

(b) After Lavabit, Silent Circle also shuts down its encrypted email service“, PC World, 9 August 2013

(c) Mega to fill secure email gap left by Lavabit“, ZDNet, 11 August 2013 — “Kim Dotcom’s privacy company Mega prepares ‘cutting edge’ email encryption service.”

(d)  Owner of Snowden’s Email Service Explains Why He Closed Lavabit Rather Than Comply With Gov’t, Democracy Now, 13 August 2013

(5)  What was the Liberty Tree?

The Liberty Tree (1646–1775) was an elm tree that stood in near Boston Common, providing a rallying point for the rebellion of the American colonies. In the years that followed, almost every American town had its own Liberty Tree, a living symbol of people’s support for the resistance to tyranny.  {paraphrased from Wikipedia}

“They who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.”
— From the title page of An Historical review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1759); written by Richard Jackson and published by Benjamin Franklin

(6)  For More Information

A few of the posts discussing our gradual loss of rights:

Posts about Edward Snowden:

  1. The Empire Strikes Back: The Demonization of Snowden Begins, 15 June 2013
  2. America’s courtiers rush to defend the government – from us, 22 June 2013
  3. Thoreau reminds us about one of the few tools we have to control the government, 24 June 2013 — About civil disobedience
  4. Will a wave of leakers undercut America’s national security?, 8 July 2013

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36 thoughts on “The government strikes again, but finds yet another American willing to fight. Applause is not enough!

  1. Incredible
    Game has been “on” for many years
    Thx for the News and Update.

    Letter to Sen and $$$.
    DONE

    Breton

  2. For all everyone has noted about Obama’s complicity in the current state of affairs in our foreign intelligence agencies (and it’s amazing to me how many people forget that the NSA’s purview is foreign intelligence gathering, not domestic) you need to keep in mind that it could be so much worse!

    n fact, it was so much worse not so long ago. The FISA Amendment I mentioned above, while it had its flaws, did basically begin to close a door on a really nasty time for the oversight of our nation’s intelligence communities. Post-9/11, the NSA was basically off the leash entirely. The FISA court might be rubber stamping warrants, but at least there are warrants and some semblance of oversight. Before that there was pretty much no check on it. Until the New York Times began to report on the issue in 2005, the NSA was engaged in truly heinous levels of unchecked information gathering against terror suspects, or pretty much just anyone they felt like, regardless of where they were from and what they were doing, no warrants required. In 2007, two former analysts, Adrienne Kinne and David Murfee Faulk, came forward to blogger Daniel Swanson (and later spoke to Bamford for his book) stating that they and other NSA analyst used to listen in on phone sex chats being held between soldiers stationed abroad and their significant others back home. They detailed that all restrictions on spying on Americans were waived by presidential (or vice-presidential) order since 9/11 (possibly earlier). These were whistleblowers detailing actual abuse of the system.

    I’ll note that Snowden and Glenn Greenwald’s many revelations about the NSA have yet to actually reveal any criminal activity. Everything they have detailed has been legal. Kinne and Faulk revealed actual abuses and caused change to be instigated, but hardly anyone remembers them. And they aren’t rotting in a prison cell somewhere right now either; rather, they remain free citizens.

    The basic rules regarding who and what the NSA can listen in on remained waived until the passage of the FISA Amendment in 2008. While that bill was flawed and far from perfect, it did re-establish a sense of the rule of law on the NSA’s programs. Warrantless wiretapping was ended, the barriers keeping the NSA from spying on Americans and other US persons without just cause were reinstated. Since then, the pattern has actually been for more restrictions placed on the NSA, not fewer. While the technology improves faster than the legislation to govern it can be crafted or passed, progress has been made. In 2011, Obama ended a massive email metadata collection program that had been going on for 10 years (starting under Dick Cheney’s orders). Apparently the Obama administration decided the program was too invasive and provided little value for the cost.

    Obama also signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which makes it easier for federal employees to report waste, fraud and abuse of government programs, including at intelligence services. This gave additional protections to whistleblowers, putting some teeth back into the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act, which had been cut to pieces by court decisions narrowing the definition of a whistleblower and what information they could be protected for revealing. Obama also sent through Presidential Policy Directive 19 in 2012, which extends legal protections for whistleblowers with access to classified information (before folks jump on this, mind that Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden do not meet any kind of legal definition of a “whistleblower.” The former indiscriminately dumped bails of documents, while the latter has failed to report any actual abuse and has only described what are currently completely legal programs).

    By noting these points, I’m by no means defending Obama’s record on NSA surveillance activities. There is still woefully little oversight into their programs, and if there were abuse of the system we would hard pressed to prove it. That said, the last time there was serious abuse of the system, during the Bush administration, whistleblowers came forward to document this. And as legal protections for whistleblowers have only improved, we can assume there is likely nothing like the systemic abuse happening now that was so notable during the Bush years (again, remember that Snowden has only revealed the details of legal programs; he has yet to document a single instant of these programs being abused).

    1. Twinson,

      All valid points. Some notes:

      (1) “For all everyone has noted about Obama’s complicity in the current state of affairs in our foreign intelligence agencies”

      It is a biparisan policy, like our wars. That’s the key aspect of this situation, and why it has been and will be so difficult to change.

      (2) “and it’s amazing to me how many people forget that the NSA’s purview is foreign intelligence gathering, not domestic)”

      They “forget” it because it is not correct, except in a meaningless formal sense.

      (3) “you need to keep in mind that it could be so much worse!”

      But then it can always be worse. I don’t understand the point of that observation.

      (4) “In fact, it was so much worse not so long ago. The FISA Amendment I mentioned above, while it had its flaws, did basically begin to close a door on a really nasty time for the oversight of our nation’s intelligence communities. Post-9/11, the NSA was basically off the leash entirely. The FISA court might be rubber stamping warrants, but at least there are warrants and some semblance of oversight.”

      Perhaps. I doubt it. While there is a “semblance of oversight” added since the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, during the past 5 years there has been a substantial expansion of the reach and boldness of the government’s activities. Which continues today.

      (5) “The FISA Amendment I mentioned above”

      I don’t see another comment by you “above”.

      (6) “I’ll note that Snowden and Glenn Greenwald’s many revelations about the NSA have yet to actually reveal any criminal activity. Everything they have detailed has been legal.”

      First, that doesn’t make me feel any better. Second, that’s true only if you consider the Bill of Rights a dead letter. As do many of our Judges, representatives, and people in the national security apparatus.

    2. Twinson

      Pure apologetics you offer here sir.
      And stretch the meaning of standard terms and words.
      Distinctions related to differences that are very dubious.
      Who do you work for?

      Breton

    3. FM: “It is a biparisan policy, like our wars. That’s the key aspect of this situation, and why it has been and will be so difficult to change.

      … They “forget” it because it is not correct, except in a meaningless formal sense. But then it can always be worse.

      … I don’t understand the point of that observation. Perhaps. I doubt it. While there is a “semblance of oversight” added since the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, during the past 5 years there has been a substantial expansion of the reach and boldness of the government’s activities. Which continues today.

      … Second, that’s true only if you consider the Bill of Rights a dead letter. As do many of our Judges, representatives, and people in the national security apparatus.”

      Nothing about Prism violates the Bill of Rights.

      Also, do you deny that Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are not in any legal sense, "Whistleblowers" and are not deserving of whistleblower protection?

    4. I do not understand what you are trying to say.

      Yes, I believe the NSA surveillance programs violate the Bill of Rights.

      No, Manning is not a whistleblower. He is like Daniel Ellsberg, bringing important information from the government to the public — at great personal risk.

      Yes, Snowden is a whistleblower.

    5. Sorry, posted this comment before and the formatting got all weird…

      “It is a biparisan policy, like our wars. That’s the key aspect of this situation, and why it has been and will be so difficult to change.”

      No, it’s Republican policy through and through. Obama has done us a great service and moderated the policy to a large extent.

      “They “forget” it because it is not correct, except in a meaningless formal sense.”

      How is it not “correct”? They clearly are interested in foreign intelligence, not domestic. Do you have any sources that indicate to the contrary?

      “But then it can always be worse. I don’t understand the point of that observation.”

      My point is it was much much worse under the Bush administration, and we should keep that in mind.

      “Perhaps. I doubt it. While there is a “semblance of oversight” added since the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, during the past 5 years there has been a substantial expansion of the reach and boldness of the government’s activities. Which continues today.”

      There’s very clear restrictions of domestic surveillance written into the FISA amendments. It’s written into the laws. Also, there is not a “substantial expansion of the reach and boldness of government activities”, there’s been a *decrease* since the Obama administration.

      “Second, that’s true only if you consider the Bill of Rights a dead letter. As do many of our Judges, representatives, and people in the national security apparatus.”

      How does Prism violate the “Bill of rights”? Nothing has been deemed illegal by the program. Do you not agree?

      Also, I have a question for you. Do you agree or disagree that Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning are not in any legal sense “Whistleblowers” and are thus, not deserving of “whistleblower” protection?

    6. “No, it’s Republican policy through and through. Obama has done us a great service and moderated the policy to a large extent.”

      Neither of your assertions is remotely correct.

      “How is it not “correct”? They clearly are interested in foreign intelligence, not domestic. Do you have any sources that indicate to the contrary?”

      That is too far out to bother with. Delusionally false. The government does not even use this defense any more.

      “My point is it was much much worse under the Bush administration, and we should keep that in mind.”

      That is false. The govt continues to expand its powers, even now.

      Your assertions are too basic denials of what has already been admitted by the govt. If you don’t believe what is in the papers, then there is no point in discussing it with you.

  3. Its good to hear a reasoned dissenting opinion, good comment Twinson.

    I stumbled across a interview with Bertrand Russell on YouTube the other day.

    Its his message to the the future, although the interviewer says 1000 years in the future, I would imagine it applies to us too.
    Enjoy.
    (warning, the US government is aware you are watching this video)

    1. “WHAT HAPPENED HERE WAS THE GRADUAL HABITUATION OF THE PEOPLE, LITTLE BY LITTLE, TO BEING GOVERNED BY SURPRISE; TO RECEIVING DECISIONS DELIBERATED IN SECRET; TO BELIEVING THAT THE SITUATION WAS SO COMPLICATED THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAD TO ACT ON INFORMATION WHICH THE PEOPLE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND, OR SO DANGEROUS THAT, EVEN IF THE PEOPLE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND IT, IT COULD NOT BE RELEASED BECAUSE OF NATIONAL SECURITY.”

      — MILTON MAYER, THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE, THE GERMANS 1933-45

  4. No on can ever rise against this Utah data center, because it will have recorded in its files everything said over the phone or on the computer — every bit of dirt, every racist statement said in private. It will be used against its opponents. There’s no turning off that Utah data center. It’s like the Ring of Power; anyone who has the power to turn it off will be tempted to use it, and when they do, they will be corrupted — just like Obama has been. Snowden, he threatened the data center, and Obama, he lashes out with irrational vindictiveness. Don’t worry, Obama says, there’s no spying on Americans.

    1. “No on can ever rise against this Utah data center, ”

      I worry that reform is impossible in America because we have become cowards, applying our minds chiefly to ways to justify surrender.

      Mataga, your statement is absurd. If enough citizens vote to oppose these government surveillance programs, Congress will act. The data center is not self-aware, like Skynet. The NSA is not in rebellion against the USA.

    2. Members of Congress denied access to basic information about NSA“, Glenn Greenwald, Guardian, 4August 2013 — “Documents provided by two House members demonstrate how they are blocked from exercising any oversight over domestic surveillance”

      They’ve been hiding something over there.

      “The revelations about the magnitude, the scope and scale of these surveillances, the metadata and the invasive actions surveillance of social media Web sites were indeed revelations to me.”

      They’ve been hiding the scope of their activities from elected officials. They’ve been feeding data obtained secretly to the DEA — then lying to the courts. This is an agency gone rogue.

    3. Mataga,

      “This is an agency gone rogue.”

      There is a massive body of evidence showing that to be false, that the NSA is operating under supervision and orders of senior administration officials. There are good odds senior Congressional officials also know (which explains why Pelosi and her Democratic Party leaders opposed the NSA reforms).

      It would be comforting to think that this was just a rogue group of mid-level officials. But that’s clearly not the case.

    4. Maybe I have a easier of rogue than you. To me, if you’re evading the government oversight that was intended to keep an eye on things. If you hide information from congress, then you’re a rogue agency. It’s that simple, really. If the NSA lets a few of its insider buddies know what’s going on that doesn’t let it off the hook. It just means they’re also part of the criminal conspiracy to keep other congress and the courts in the dark. It’s a big lie so they can continue building out the technology to spy on innocent Americans.

    5. Mataga,

      “It’s that simple”

      The words that precede so many errors. People do what their bosses tell them to do so. When they do so it’s inaccurate to call them rogues.

      Note that there is little evidence that the NSA has done anything illegal. Congress-people claim they we not told, but there is a long history of them saying that when it’s not true. Plausible deniability.

      By overlooking the obvious, you are probably buying into the cover story. This gullibility is of course why we are losing.

    6. Well, legal based on secret courts — whose rulings were hidden from elected officials in congress. Then they use their secret legal rulings so they can lie to congress to hide the true nature of their work. If that’s legal, then anything is legal. Really. Richard Blumenthal sounds pretty credible to me. The other evidence that I offer is the house vote against the NSA. It didn’t win, but for these national security type issues this was stunningly close. They got 205 votes to basically shut down the telephone surveillance program. This doesn’t normally happen. At least 205 congressmen were pissed off.

    7. Mataga,

      I agree on all counts.

      However, I said right after Snowden’s news that this would result in few and only minor reforms. I still believe that. The House vote was a show vote. So long as there was a majority against many Democrats were able to vote against it. But what if it was a closer vote? My guess is that many of the “yes” votes would have switched to “no”. My guess is that in fact there was a large majority willing to vote “no” as necessary.

  5. (Oops, sorry, I had some typos in that. I need to read more carefully first before I press post)
    Maybe I have a easier definition of rogue than you. To me, if you’re evading the government oversight that was intended to keep an eye on things, that’s enough. If you hide information from congress, then you’re a rogue agency. It’s that simple, really. If the NSA lets a few of its insider buddies know what’s going on that doesn’t let it off the hook. It just means they’re also part of the criminal conspiracy to keep other congress and the courts in the dark. It’s a big lie so they can continue building out the technology to spy on innocent Americans.

  6. The entire discussion alleging that we are powerless against the NSA and “Utah” etc. is simply inaccurate speculation, in my view. Historically it is not true and sociologically/politically it is self-fulfilling geared toward inaction as a rule of Life. I suspect that feeling is symptomatic of the current malaise in the USA (maybe the EU, also).

    It will take some serious effort, yes, but these Programs and this mind set of the Rulers can be turned back and seemingly quite quickly, I will add.
    Yes, it will probably need to be multi-pronged in the counter assault against these Programs; via serious Voter push-back…which we have already seen to a seemingly surprising extent IMO.

    One of my Sens is Mark Udall and if you speak candidly with his staff in DC, they will possibly tell you the outrage they hear is palpable and pervasive.

    And eventually a group of Citizen’s will need to take direct action publicly against these Rulers. E,G.., a very small % of the Population in the 60’s-70’s was greatly effective in stopping a long term foolish war effort in VN. Recall the beginnings of the Civil Rights efforts, the numbers were very small but the effort grew and grew just as it did in the Anti War efforts.

    History shows us many other similar examples.

    People love to criticize these things—-unfocused, chaotic, disruptive, incomplete Politically etc. But Shifts happen and they happen by the efforts of a very few. Of course there were beatings, Gendarme Over-reach; there were Kent State moments! And there will be again

    Do not be mistaken….it will cost heavily for some and yes, these Rulers can be stopped dead. Perhaps you will be assisting?

    Breton

    1. Breton,

      You are a nice guy, and I share your sentiments. However, reading them reminds me of peasants muttering in their huts about the great day coming when the Lord would come and smite their oppressors.

      Reading your comment one would think that elections were no longer held in America. Before we do all the big things you speak of, and pay the great costs — how about getting off our butts, organizing, and winning elections. People who are too lazy to do that are poor material with which to do larger and more difficult projects.

  7. I have to laugh, FM. I do very much marvel at your Postings and have watched you slide to the Dark Side over these years.
    Great stuff here.but….. It is not me who sounds like a Peasant but perhaps it is you who sometimes I think forgets what he Posts.

    Please. Elections in this Country have denigrated below the level of laughable. There is only One Party with Two Branches….engage your fingers on the “touch screens” until your heart’s content. And then read Mr.. Twinsen above; Mr NSA plant or Dem Party Operative, himself. Continue by re-reading your own section on NSLs..

    Then finish up with a shot of Jaegermeister for all us High Middle Germans who venture here! Oh the irony. The peasants grandparents will soon be dying in droves and America may yet have its Day of Infamy.

    Anything is better than the disgusting lethargy of the current American Political landscape into which you exhort the peasants to Vote.

    Breton

    1. Breton,

      If Americans spent as much time working elections as they do whining about their oppression, this would be a city on the hill.

      Color me unimpressed by your disinterest in working the system, and fantasy about how you are oppressed because when you enter the booth the choices are not Jesus, Washington, and Superman.

      If the Founding generation was as lazy, we’d still be a colony of Britain. If the abolitionists saw them selves as only consumers, slavery would have ended even later than it did.

    2. Breton,

      You give two of the classic responses of New Americans — the characteristics which have helped to kill the Second Republic.

      (1) “engage your fingers on the “touch screens” until your heart’s content.”

      Elections are not consumption, like buying books on Amazon. They are opportunities to get involved and shape the nation. Election day is the end of the process, not the start. Reform remains impossible so long as we see ourselves as “consumers” instead of “citizens”.

      (2) “The peasants grandparents will soon be dying in droves and America may yet have its Day of Infamy.”

      The usual doomster rant, the self-justification for inaction because the End is Coming. While possible, that is just a wild guess. Like most wild guesses, it’s probably wrong.

    3. You are exhibiting your standard delusions and engaging in speculative nonsense about who I am.
      You have idea what I do politically nor do you even care.
      Knee jerk.

      You are the Great believer in an America that has never existed but only for short periods.
      A true patriot from a privileged existence who has the wealth and time to engage in the New American pastime of blogging.

      Where we’re you in 1969?
      When did you enter the Military as a draftee?
      What is your experience in political change beyond the Ballot Box?
      What moral imperative beyond Political “Science” do you find yourself being motivated by?

      Where we’re you when ML King turned against the USA and the military incursion against the Vietnamese?

      You simply have no idea of what you offer as the failings of so many who read you.
      Stick to analysis and avoid the ad hominems.

      You simply lack the courage in action of your postings …. If I am wrong…come out, come off the pompous stage and offer us your actions beyond the Ballot.

      Come out Fabius.
      Let us see you.
      Or are you just another Tyler Durden?
      Or a standard issue GS 14?

      Breton

    4. I have no idea what you are attempting to say with that rant.

      It sounds like you are confirming what I said. It looks like I touched a nerve.

      Anyway, time will show who is correct. Every day brings new evidence.

  8. A new secure email sevice under construction, but New Zealand joins the coalition of nations opposing communication liberty

    Mega to fill secure email gap left by Lavabit“, ZDNet, 11 August 2013 — “Kim Dotcom’s privacy company Mega prepares ‘cutting edge’ email encryption service.”

    Last week Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar told ZDNet the company was being asked to deliver secure email and voice services. In the wake of the closures, he expanded on his plans.

    Kumar said work is in progress, building off the end-to-end encryption and contacts functionality already working for documents in Mega. “The biggest tech hurdle is providing email functionality that people expect, such as searching emails, that are trivial to provide if emails are stored in plain text (or available in plain text) on the server side,” Kumar said. “If all the server can see is encrypted text, as is the case with true end-to-end encryption, then all the functionality has to be built client side. [That’s] not quite impossible but very, very hard. That’s why even Silent Circle didn’t go there.”

    A big issue is handling emails to and from non-encrypted contacts when Mega’s core proposition is end-to-end encryption, Kumar said. “On this and other fronts, Mega is doing some hugely cutting-edge stuff,” he said. “There is probably no one in the world who takes the Mega approach of making true crypto work for the masses, our core proposition.”

    Kumar said Mega is taking theoretic sounding technology such as Bloom filters and making them work for the masses. Work is also under way to keep Mega secure even if SSL/TLS is compromised.

    “[It’s] exciting stuff but very hard so I think it will take months more to crack it,” he said. “But Mega will never launch anything that undermines its end-to-end encryption core security proposition and doesn’t work for the mythical grandmother.”

    Meanwhile Kim Dotcom has said he may have to pull parts of Mega out of New Zealand if new surveillance legislation is passed into law.

    Dotcom told TorrentFreak the US government and the other Five Eyes partners, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are push new spy legislation to provide backdoors into internet services.

    “The NZ government is currently aggressively looking to extend its powers with the GCSB [Government Computer Services Bureau] and the [Telecommunications Interception Capabilities] Act, which will force service providers with encryption capabilities to give them secret decryption access,” Dotcom said.

    He added that might force some relocation of Mega’s network to other jurisdictions, such as Iceland.

    Dotcom explained that, by design, Mega doesn’t hold decryption keys to customer accounts and “never will”.

    Lavabit’s Levison said: “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.”

    Kumar on his blog described the closures at “Privacy Seppuku”, a form of Japanese ritual suicide aimed to preserve honour

    “These are acts of ‘Privacy Seppuku’- honourably and publicly shutting down (“suicide”) rather than being forced to comply with laws and courts intent on violating people’s privacy,” he said.

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