And then there were two

Update on the earlier story. Now two providers are shutting down — which will lead users of other services to wonder if they already cooperated with the government:

Two major secure e-mail service providers on Thursday took the extraordinary step of shutting down service.

A Texas-based company called Lavabit, which was reportedly used by Edward J. Snowden, announced its suspension Thursday afternoon, citing concerns about secret government court orders.

By evening, Silent Circle, a Maryland-based firm that counts heads of state among its customers, said it was following Lavabit’s lead and shutting its e-mail service as a protective measure.

Taken together, the closures signal that e-mails, even if they are encrypted, can be accessed by government authorities and that the only way to prevent turning over the data is to obliterate the servers that the data sits on.

Mike Janke, Silent Circle’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview late Thursday that his company had destroyed its server. “Gone. Can’t get it back. Nobody can,” he said. “We thought it was better to take flak from customers than be forced to turn it over.”

The company, in a blog post dated Friday, Aug. 9, said it had taken the extreme measure even though it had not received a search order from the government.

Ladar Levison, the owner of Lavabit, suggested — though did not say explicitly — that he had received a search order, and was opting to shut the service so as not to be “complicit in crimes against the American people.”

H/t Cos.

4 thoughts on “And then there were two

  1. The 1% is clearly concerned about the “way of the world” these days. That’s very good news. The bad news is that at some point when the 1% is feeling the pressure they’re gonna do something stupid. So……violence is always counter-productive. Because most people don’t want to die. And your press is always bad.

  2. I’m putting this here bcz I couldn’t find the post of the DEA getting NSA info/intel.

    For anyone worried that the IRS has been left out of the NSA’s info giveaway, worry no longer. They’re part of the scheme, right down to getting the training for how to do the “reconstructive investigation” trick for lying to the courts.

    I figure any department needing info is getting it this way and lying to the courts about it.

    Rule of Law, babeeeee!!!

    Raw Story also has this about defense lawyers planning legal action to get access to any info handed out for prosecutions. Heh…gonna be a fun time in the FISA court and others for awhile. I’m pretty sure the suit will be shut down for security reasons, methods, etc. State Secrets are of course necessary for the Surveillance State.

    I wish these attys good luck.

    Constitutional issues? As of the rise and solidification of the Corporatist state, the Consitution does not apply to the lower economic quintiles. The Constitution is only for the rich and powerful, with paid up credits (donations to pols) giving them get out of prosecutions cards/stay out of jail cards. Or, of course, being rich and big enough to tell the government what is going to be done is the real power. Power calls the shots, not silly things like laws and constituions. So, the Powerful invoke the Constitution when it meets their needs; otherwise, they ignore it.

    Ben Franklin must be astonished, should there be an afterlife providing any access to what’s happening in the here and now.

  3. Article on how we’re already living in a post-Constitution state here in the USA. Appeared in Tom Dispatch. By Peter Van Buren.

    This is really interesting:

    When the US wanted something in Iraq or Afghanistan, they sent guys to kick down doors and take it. This, too, may be beginning to happen here at home. Recently, despite other valuable and easily portable objects lying nearby, computers, and only computers, were stolen from the law offices representing State Department whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn. Similarly, a Washington law firm representing NSA whistleblower Tom Drake had computers, and only computers, stolen from its office.

    In these years, the FBI has brought two other NSA wartime tools home. The bureau now uses a device called Stingray to recreate those battlefield fake cell phone towers and track people in the US without their knowledge. Stingray offers some unique advantages: it bypasses the phone company entirely, which is, of course, handy in a war zone in which a phone company may be controlled by less-than-cooperative types, or if phone companies no longer cooperate with the government, or simply if you don’t want the phone company or anyone else to know you’re snooping. American phone companies seem to have been quite cooperative. Verizon, for instance, admits hacking its own cellular modems (“air cards”) to facilitate FBI intrusion.

    And there’s more technology used in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones coming home for domestic surveillance:

    Using fake cell phone towers that actually intercept phone signals en route to real towers, the US could harvest hardware information in Iraq and Afghanistan that would forever label a phone and allow the NSA to always uniquely identify it, even if the SIM card was changed. The fake cell towers also allowed the NSA to gather precise location data for the phone, vacuum up metadata, and monitor what was being said.

    Coming to DC in 2012 is the Aerostat, a kind Panopticon in a blimp. Fun times coming to a city near you, too, probably.

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