Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: August 09, 2013 06:26PM
I had an idea for a short story many years ago regarding how the US and the
USSR were moving in similar directions. Now there's no need to write it ....
the press is doing it almost daily
woberto Report This Comment
Date: August 09, 2013 10:36PM
The US are so offended that an email encryption exists that they cannot break,
that they put pressure on it's owner to shut it down. How dare he provide a
service that the NSA cannot hack! The nerve of that guy. It is obvious that only
terrorists would use such a service because regular Americans (or any other
nationality for that matter) apparently have no problem with the government
tracking there email traffic because it makes the world safer.
What a load of bullshit.
If we could prove that a terrorist ever used the US postal service, would they
shut that down? Would they label it a tool of traitors and spies?
Specifically, if a company has any ties to the US then they can request access
to emails under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
"I am unaware of any situation in which a service provider chose to shut
down rather than comply with a court order they felt violated the
constitution," said Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: August 10, 2013 08:11PM
Hey leland, unlike nearly anywhere else on the ol www, here you can actually
say FUCK without gettin the usual boot or censored. Among other reasons, it's
why many of us are such loyalists to the joint
Though our govt has been less than trustworthy for quite a few years, really
more like decades, the current level of obfuscation of what is factual has
finally risen to tsunami proportions.
With the NAS, DOJ, IRS, DOS and a long list of other alphabet orgs perjuring
themselves, then getting caught at it, with no repercussions to follow, I dunno
how there's any real hope left but to stand the system on its head and start
over with a "get back to basic Constitutional governance" move.
A good friend of mine just found out he was on the No Fly list, which prompted
him to implement a FOIA request to see what they had against him. Seems all he
got was over 500 pgs of redacted BS, the 1st of which being that in the early
80s he was arrested at a protest on illegal immigration. Since that time there
were pages and pages from differing dates, though it was all black ink except
for the headings.
But no, obviously there's no domestic spying on US citizens .....
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2013 08:13PM by Mrkim.
pulse Report This Comment
Date: August 12, 2013 08:50AM
Off topic, but you have no idea how tempted I was to edit & censor that
Such nice things. I figured you guys would all have gone and facebooked or ..
like .. uuh .. instagrammed nude selfies to each other or something well before
Mrkim Report This Comment
Date: August 12, 2013 10:52AM
Bah, you'd have just edited it to FUCK with me pulse
Having spent years here now it's pretty apparent you really just aren't the
censorist type, which is both a good and rare thing in our all too PC world
Facebook, yeah I finally fired off a page, though begrudgingly and I use it very
sparingly as I find the whole concept repugnant to begin with. Just not the type
to wanna inform the whole freakin world about every move I make. Coupled with
the idea that everything one splays out on the ol interweb essentially has no
recall capability, though govts. seem well versed at it these days, doing so in
a Facebook way is really a dumbass move.
BTW, what's goin on in the world of data manipulation and historical rewrites
these days was so well foretold by Winstons characters job at the Ministry Of
Truth in the all too ominously "it's all come to pass now" 1984. One
of the few differences is (at least for now) our 2 way video devices still have
off buttons ... at least on our end of the screen.
Nude selfies of me? Though I enjoy stimulating certain cerebral areas,
triggering ones gag reflex really isn't my bag
woberto Report This Comment
Date: July 29, 2014 04:25AM
Here is the latest. Kim will love/hate this update.
And visit Dark Mail Initiative
My Fellow Citizens,
My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood
two federal agents ready to serve me with a court order requiring the
installation of surveillance equipment on my company’s network.
My company, Lavabit, provided email services to 410,000 people *(including
woberto), and thrived by offering features specifically designed to protect the
privacy and security of its customers. I had no choice but to consent to the
installation of their device, which would have provided the government with
access to all of the messages, for all of my customers, as they travelled to and
from other providers on the Internet.
But that wasn’t enough. The federal agents also said their court order
required me to surrender the company’s private encryption keys, and I balked.
What they claimed to need were customer passwords, which were sent securely, so
they could access the plain-text of messages for users taking advantage of my
company’s encrypted storage feature. (The government would later claim they
only demanded the encryption keys because of my "noncompliance".) I
didn’t realize until I retained an attorney that what the agents proposed
would have exceeded their authority.
Bothered by what the agents were saying, I informed them I would first need to
read the order they had just delivered and then consult with an attorney. The
feds seemed surprised by my hesitation.
What ensued was a flurry of legal proceedings that would last 38 days. When the
dust settled I found myself the owner of a $10,000 civil contempt fine, my
business shut down, and bit by bit, the very principle upon which I founded it
– that we all have a right to personal privacy, slipping quickly away. (To
appreciate just how fast the case moved, consider the median timeframe for a
similar proceedings was 9.7 months in 2012.)
The government lawyers tried to overwhelm me. In the first two weeks, I was
served court orders a total of seven times – leading to contact with the FBI
every other day. (This was the stretch a prosecutor would later characterize as
the "long period of silence".) It took a week for me to identify an
attorney who could adequately represent me given the complex issues involved –
and we were in contact for less than a day when agents served me with a summons
ordering me to appear in a Virginia courtroom (over 1,000 miles from home). Two
days later, after admitting their demand to my lawyer, I was served a subpoena
for the encryption keys – also marking the first time they put their demand in
With such short notice, my first attorney was unable to appear alongside me in
court. Because the whole case was under seal, I couldn't admit to anyone who
wasn't a lawyer that I needed help, let alone why. In the days before my
appearance I would spend hours repeating the facts of the case to a dozen
attorneys, as I sought someone else that was qualified to represent me. I also
discovered that as a third party in a federal criminal indictment, I had no
right to counsel. Thus my pleas for more time were denied. After all, only my
property was in jeopardy – not my liberty. My right to a “fair hearing”
was treated as a nuisance, easily trampled by a team of determined prosecutors.
In the end, I was forced to choose between appearing alone, or face a bench
warrant for my arrest.
When I appeared in Virginia, the government replaced their subpoena for the
encryption key with a search warrant and a new court date. I retained a small
local law firm before returning home, and they took on the task of assembling a
legal strategy and filing briefs in the few short days available. The court
barred them from consulting outside experts, making it difficult to understand
the complex legal and technological issues involved. Even a request to discuss
the case with members of Congress was denied. To make matters worse, the court
wouldn’t deliver transcripts for my first appearance for another two months.
My legal team was forced to proceed without access to information they
Then, a federal judge entered an order of contempt against me – without even a
hearing. Let me be clear. I did not devoted 10 years of my life to building
Lavabit, with its focus on privacy, only to become complicit in a plan which
would have meant the wholesale violation of my customers’ right to privacy.
Thus with my options in court exhausted, the decision was easy. I had to shut
down my service. Placing my faith in the integrity of the appeals process.
When the judge granted the contempt charge unopposed – ignoring my
attorney’s request to dispute the government’s claims – he created a
loophole. I was never given an opportunity to object, let alone provide a
meaningful defense. An important point, since the contempt charge endorsed new
legal claims – reversing what the court had previously indicated. Without an
objection on the record, the appellate court would rule that my right to an
appeal had been waived – since the charges hadn’t been disputed in district
court. Given the Supreme Court’s tradition of declining to review cases
decided on procedural grounds, I will likely be denied justice, forever.
The most important question raised by my appeal was what constitutes a
"search," i.e., whether law enforcement may demand the encryption keys
of a business and use those keys to inspect the private communications of every
customer, when they are only authorized to access information belonging to a
The problem here is technological: until a communication has been decrypted and
the contents parsed, it is impossible for a surveillance device to determine
which network connections belong to the targeted accounts. The government argued
that since the "inspection" would be carried out by a machine, they
were exempt from the normal search-and-seizure protections of the fourth
More importantly, the prosecution argued the exemption was because my users had
no expectation of privacy, even though the encryption they were trying to break
was created specifically to ensure a users' privacy.
If my experience serves any purpose, it is to illustrate what most already know:
our courts must not be allowed to consider matters of great importance in
secret, lest we find ourselves summarily deprived of meaningful due process. If
we allow our government to continue operating in secret, it is only a matter of
time before you or a loved one find yourself in a position like I was –
standing in a secret courtroom, alone, and without any of the unalienable rights
that are supposed to protect us from an abuse of the state’s authority.
Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC
With my fight in court all but lost, I am focusing my attention on a technical
fix. Help me put control over who reads your email back into your hands. Donate
to the Lavabit Dark Mail Development Initiative today. Because keeping your
business your business is our business.
pulse Report This Comment
Date: July 29, 2014 06:47AM
Yeah. That'd never happen here *cough*
Ignoring the fact that we actually have none of the rights even the US has
enshrined in our constitution (even if they are easily trampled).
Pretty much the world is fucked.