[CompSecSem] Encrypted Email Provider Lavabit Shuts Down, Blames US Gov't - Slashdot

Ian Batten igb at batten.eu.org
Thu Aug 15 12:31:45 BST 2013

On 15 Aug 2013, at 12:11, Mark Ryan <M.D.Ryan at cs.bham.ac.uk> wrote:

> On Thu, 8 Aug 2013, Chris Novakovic wrote:
>> Lavabit was (allegedly) the mail
>> provider being used by Edward Snowden. The closure message on Lavabit's
>> home page implies that it was the subject of a national security letter.
>> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/08/08/1956215/encrypted-email-provider-lavabit-shuts-down-blames-us-govt
> There is a (to me) fascinating video interview with Ladar Levison, the founder and operator of Lavabit, and another recipient of a "national security letter":
> http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/13/exclusive_owner_of_snowdens_email_service
> It also contains a 2005 clip of then-senator Barack Obama giving a different opinion on national security letters than the one he appears to have today.

Labour, prior to the 1997 general election, said of pretty well all forms of interception, key escrow and the like that they were wrong in principle and unworkable in practice. A group called "Scientists for Labour", who included people like Roger Needham, endorsed this policy document and said that their off-the-record discussions confirmed that Labour believed it and would live by it.

Within about six months, Jack Straw as Home Secretary had launched the discussions which led to RIPA, with the earlier drafts far scarier than the result.  

The same thing happened with Clinton over "Clipper" and key escrow.  Presumably likewise for Obama.

The theory at the time was that upon entering office, liberal doves were taken into a room and given "The Briefing" about the alleged horrors from which the intelligence services allegedly keep us safe.  They emerged as full-blooded intelligence hawks, willing to give the agencies everything they asked for, and more. 


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