[Rushtalk] lavabit gone but not forgotten

Tom Matiska tom.matiska at att.net
Sat Aug 10 12:41:04 MDT 2013


Too bad for the traitors, terrorists, and drug smugglers who just lost use of the ste....  I feel for them... 

Tom
  




From: Carl Spitzer <cwsiv at keepandbeararms.com>
To: Rushtalk <rushtalk at csdco.com> 
Sent: Saturday, August 10, 2013 10:22 AM
Subject: [Rushtalk] lavabit gone but not forgotten
 

www.lavabit.com

seems the government alleges snowden was a user of the site which
protects privacy but is now being persecuted by ObombA and the NSA so
the owner has shut down rather than obey.  You can contribute to the
fight against ObombA and Bush2 and the patriotic act by donating to the
elgal fight.

CWSIV

Three articles follow

http://www.itproportal.com/2013/08/09/secure-email-service-lavabit-shuts-down-citing-surveillance-order-silent-circle-follows/


Secure email service Lavabit shuts down citing surveillance order,
Silent Circle follows suit
SecurityNews
09 Aug 2013 by Tomas Jivanda, 09 Aug 2013News
Secure email service Lavabit shuts down citing surveillance order,
Silent Circle follows suit

Lavabit, a secure email service reportedly used by Edward Snowden, has
abruptly shut down its service in apparent response to a US government
surveillance order.

In a cryptic announcement the company's owner, Ladar Levison, said: "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."

Lavabit had around 30,000 users. The service encrypts all emails before
they are stored on the servers and only the password holder is able to
decrypt the messages through a secret passphrase, which is not stored by
the company.

>From what Levison has been able to say, it appears that the decision is
a result of a secret court order issued around six weeks ago, demanding
that the company hand over private information.

"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," Levison said.

The company refused to cooperate with the government and has now set up
a legal defence fund, accepting contributions through Paypal in order to
help the team with "defending the constitution". Levison has already
began preparing papers to fight the case in the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals, something he hopes will eventually allow the firm to be
relaunched.

By shutting down the service, Levison is keeping a promise to customers
that the company would "never sacrifices privacy for profits," something
which Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation says
is particularly rare.

Commenting on the move, Opsahl said: "Given the impressive powers of the
government to obtain emails and records from service providers, both
with and without legal authority, it is encouraging to see service
providers take steps to limit their ability to access user data, as
Lavabit had done."

Following Lavabit's decision to cease operations, encrypted
communications firm Silent Circle has closed its Silent Mail service. In
a statement, the company said it had not received any government orders
but, after the closure of Lavabit, "can see the writing on the wall".

Silent Circle will continue to provide its secure phone and text
service.

A recent report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
estimates that the revelations about US government surveillance could
cost the US cloud computing industry up to $35 billion (£22.5 billion)
over the next three years.

Adding weight to the claim, Levison ended his Lavabit closure
announcement with a strongly worded warning to Internet users: "I would
strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a
company with physical ties to the United States," he said. 

Copyright Net Communities 2013





http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/08/lavabit-snowden/

  

Edward Snowden’s Email Provider Shuts Down Amid Secret Court Battle

    * By Kevin Poulsen
    * 08.08.13
    * 4:02 PM
    *  Edit

    * Follow @kpoulsen

This image provided by Human Rights Watch shows NSA leaker, Edward
Snowden, center, at a press conference at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport
with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks, left, and a Russian translator Friday,
July 12, 2013. Photo: Tanya Lokshina / Human Rights Watch

A pro-privacy email service long used by NSA leaker Edward Snowden
abruptly shut down today, blaming a secret U.S. court battle it has been
fighting for six weeks — one that it seems to be losing so far.

“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,”  owner Ladar Levison wrote in a
statement. “After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend
operations.”

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.

Levison posted this message today announcing the shutdown.

    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.

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.

A voicemail to Lavabit went unreturned today.

Update 19:45: 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,” wrote one. “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.”
Kevin Poulsen

Kevin Poulsen is the investigations editor at Wired and author of
Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime
Underground (Crown, 2011). His PGP fingerprint is A4BB A435 2FE1 B4A8
46E1 7AF6 DA4B 5DFA FF09 4870

Read more by Kevin Poulsen



Wired.com © 2013 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of this Site
constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (effective 3/21/12) and
Privacy Policy (effective 3/21/12). Your California Privacy Rights.

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written
permission of Condé Nast.
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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/the-snowden-effect-us-government-demands-cast-chill-on-encrypted-e-mail-industry/article13682247/?cmpid=rss1

The Snowden effect: U.S. government demands cast chill on encrypted
e-mail industry Add to ...

Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO — Reuters

Published Friday, Aug. 09 2013, 10:17 AM EDT 

An encrypted e-mail service believed to have been used by American
fugitive Edward Snowden shut down abruptly on Thursday amid a legal
fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to
customer 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,” Lavabit LLC owner Ladar Levison
wrote in a letter that was posted on the Texas-based company’s website
on Thursday.  

Levison said he has decided to “suspend operations” but was barred from
discussing the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision.

That matches the period since Snowden went public as the source of media
reports detailing secret electronic spying operations by the U.S.
National Security Agency.

“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,” Levison wrote.

The U.S. Department of Justice had no immediate comment.

Later on Thursday, an executive with a better-known provider of secure
e-mail said his company had also shut down that service. Jon Callas,
co-founder of Silent Circle Inc, said on Twitter and in a blog post that
Silent Circle had ended Silent Mail.

“We see the writing the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us
to shut down Silent Mail now. We have not received subpoenas, warrants,
security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we
are acting now,” Callas wrote on a blog addressed to customers.

Silent Circle, co-founded by the PGP cryptography inventor Phil
Zimmermann, will continue to offer secure texting and secure phone
calls, but e-mail is harder to keep truly private, Callas wrote. He and
company representatives didn’t immediately respond to interview
requests.

At a Moscow news conference four weeks ago, a Human Rights Watch
representative said she had been contacted by Snowden from a Lavabit
e-mail address, according to news website GlobalPost.com.

Use of effective encryption by regular e-mail users is rare. Some of
Snowden’s leaked documents show that Google Inc , Microsoft Corp and
other large providers have been compelled to help intelligence
authorities gather e-mail and other data on their users.

The big providers and other companies typically offer encryption but
said they co-operate with legal requests, including those by
intelligence officials.

Lavabit was something of an outlier, in part because it had said e-mail
was encrypted on its servers and could only be accessed with the user’s
password.

Snowden has been charged with espionage but was granted asylum by
Russia, prompting U.S. President Barack Obama to scrap a planned meeting
with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Lavabit’s statement suggested a gag order was in place, and lawyers said
that could accompany any one of a wide range of demands for information.
The government could be seeking unencrypted versions of Snowden’s e-mail
correspondence, other information about him, the technical means to
decrypt his future e-mails or those of other customers, or basic
information on all of Lavabit’s hundreds of thousands of users.

It is rare and perhaps unprecedented for a legitimate U.S. business to
shut down rather than comply with a government request for information,
said Kurt Opsahl, an attorney with the Electronic Freedom Foundation, a
civil liberties group in San Francisco that is not involved in the case.

“This is a pretty extraordinary thing,” Opsahl said. “I’m not aware of
another case where a service provider elected to shut down under these
kinds of circumstances.”

Levison said the company has started preparing the paperwork needed to
fight in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Richmond,
Virginia. He could not be reached for comment.

“All of this tells us the same lesson: almost nothing we do on the
Internet can be protected from government prying and spying,” said
Michael Ratner, a U.S. lawyer who has worked for anti-secrecy website
WikiLeaks, a Snowden ally. “To talk privately, meetings will need to
take place in large parks with plenty of tree cover.”



© Copyright 2013 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.
444 Front St. W., Toronto,  ON  Canada  M5V 2S9
Phillip Crawley, Publisher














http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/crime/lavabit-snowden-s-email-provider-shuts-down-rather-turn-over-information?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+opposingviews%2Fmain+%28Opposing+Views+-+Issues%2C+Experts%2C+Answers%29


Lavabit, Snowden’s Email Provider, Shuts Down Rather than Turn Over
Information

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By Sarah Siskind, Thu, August 08, 2013

In July, Edward Snowden invited several members of the press for a
briefing at the Moscow Airport, where he was staying. According to one
of the journalists, he used the email address, “edsnowden at lavabit.com.”
The Texas-based email provider has offered users a service that does not
scan their emails for kerywords (like Gmail does). Ladar Levinson, who
founded the company in 2004, announced earlier today, he is shutting
down the company rather than be forced to cooperate with a government
investigation.

The website now features a personal message from Levinson expressing his
desire to share his “experiences over the past six weeks” and his
inability to do so given some undisclosed force.

He writes, “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.”

Levinson goes on to state his team is, “preparing the paperwork needed
to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals.”

He ends the letter on an ominous note. He warns from his experiences,
“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.”



Sources:  Lavabit, Forbes
Get More: Edward Snowden | Email | Ladar Levison | lavabit |
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