The Phaserl


Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns against using US-based companies

Edward Snowden: ‘Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren’t fighting for our interests the same way’

by Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian:

A Texas-based encrypted email service recently revealed to be used by Edward Snowden – Lavabit – announced yesterday it was shutting itself down in order to avoid complying with what it perceives as unjust secret US court orders to provide government access to its users’ content. “After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations,” the company’s founder, Ladar Levinson, wrote in a statement to users posted on the front page of its website. He said the US directive forced on his company “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.” He chose the latter.

CNET’s Declan McCullagh smartly speculates that Lavabit was served “with [a] federal court order to intercept users’ (Snowden?) passwords” to allow ongoing monitoring of emails; specifically: “the order can also be to install FedGov-created malware.” After challenging the order in district court and losing – all in a secret court proceeding, naturally – Lavabit shut itself down to avoid compliance while it appeals to the Fourth Circuit.

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1 comment to Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns against using US-based companies

  • CalSailX

    I know just how the founder of Lavabit feels, when I was informed that would have to surrender without a warrant the e-mails of my clients it was a kick to the balls.

    The same S.O.B.’s that surrendered the edges of the internet, exposing my users to hackers, and virus attack. Demanded that without warrant I should surrender data for my users, I’d secured my network for years protecting my clients, what’s funny about that is my network was attacked as if it were the NSA it’s self.

    I can’t blame them because my network was a more hardened target at that time, as such at least the Chi-Coms thought we has something to hide. Infected clients where isolated, their traffic dropped at routers. I hated having to go to a client and disinfect one of their computers.

    More then once I had to pull an executive officer to the screen of my tap on his company’s section of the network to reveal his own computer was compromised. I hated it, and what pissed me off the most was it was fortune 500 company’s being used as the vector of infection of my clients.

    It wasn’t that it couldn’t be helped… just a matter of they didn’t give a damn!

    Happiest day of my life was the day, was the day I dropped the job into anthers lap, incompetent maybe but they only had to deal with 1/10th of the attacks I had been seeing.

    “Your fired”… hell thank you. I own enough of this company you couldn’t fire me if you wanted to but thanks! Here is all the passwords, here is the threats your facing… I’m going to get drunk. You figure out the mistake you just made it will be to late, I’ll shoot you in the face if you ask me to come enjoy this kind of hell once again!

    We in the small mom & pop company’s led the way, securing what we had. We knew the threats addressed them. We were a much harder target then .gov targets… Maybe that’s why we had to be crushed or bought out, because we gave a damn about our customers. We seen the attacks in our logs and responded within minutes. We were the hard nut no-one could crack.

    It may have taken 10 years off my life, but in my time as a network administrator. I didn’t spy on any of my users and I secured their access to the internet. It was a 18 hour a day job… and that was a good day. If the network was being attacked I might have to go three days without sleep to address the threat, just the way it was.

    If you knew what I made providing that service to my community, you’d laugh at me…

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