Encrypted email service used by Snowden mysteriously shuts down
The highly encrypted email service reportedly used by NSA leaker Edward Snowden has gone offline - and its administrator claims the company is legally barred from explaining why.
On Thursday, the homepage of Lavabit.com was changed to a letter from the company’s owner announcing that the site’s operations have ceased following a six-week long ordeal that has prompted the company to take legal action in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Now in the midst of an escalating fight from the federal government aimed at cracking down on encrypted communications, one of the last free and secure services has thrown in the towel under mysterious circumstances.
“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,” owner and operator Ladar Levison of Dallas, Texas wrote in the statement. “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,” wrote Levison. “As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.”
Rather than comply with the governments illegal request, the owners shut down the site. The owner cannot even tell us what happened. WTF Americans, WAKE UP!
Buh-buh muh national security!
This is definitely CHANGE, you can believe it!
More from the article, for those that are reluctant to view the actual site. In case the tyrannical big brother government is monitoring your activities!
""Although Lavabit’s website is now almost entirely inaccessible, a cached version hosted by Google provides background on why and how the service provided highly secure encryption to its users.
“In an era where Microsoft and Yahoo’s e-mail services sell access past their spam filters, Google profiles user’s inboxes for targeted advertising, and AT&T allows the government to tap phone calls without a court warrant; we decided to take a stand,” one page reads. “Lavabit has developed a system so secure that it prevents everyone, including us, from reading the e-mail of the people that use it.”
By combining three different encryption schemes with Elliptical Curve Cryptography, Lavabit provided a service purposely designed to provide protection against government surveillance.
“The result is that once a message is stored on our servers in this fashion, it can’t be recovered without knowing a user's password. This provides a priceless level of security, particularly for customers that use e-mail to exchange sensitive information,” the company wrote.
“The key element of the PATRIOT Act is that it allows the FBI to issue National Security Letters (NSLs). NSLs are used to force an Internet Service Provider, like Lavabit, to surrender all private information related to a particular user. The problem is that NSLs come without the oversight of a court and can be issued in secret. Issuing an NSL in secret effectively denies the accused an opportunity to defend himself in court. Fortunately, the courts ruled NSLs unconstitutional in 2005; but not before illustrating the need for a technological guarantee of privacy,”
“Lavabit believes that a civil society depends on the open, free and private flow of ideas. The type of monitoring promoted by the PATRIOT Act restricts that flow of ideas because it intimidates those afraid of retaliation. To counteract this chilling effect, Lavabit developed its secure e-mail platform. We feel e-mail has evolved into a critical channel for the communication of ideas in a healthy democracy. It’s precisely because of e-mail’s importance that we strive so hard to protect private e-mails from eavesdropping.”
"I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are."
"We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary."
~ Candidate Obama
Lying liar telling lies full of lies!
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