Lavabit suspends operations under pressure from US Government

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Michael, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Lavabit was a secure and free web-based email service provider - it shut down today. Here's the owner's farewell letter:

    Look Right, while the Left steals your wallet.
    Look Left, while the Right steals your watch.
    Just keep looking Left and Right.

    Progressive State Fascism is not amiable to Civil Liberty. You cannot have both.

    Americans want the State to take care them through Medicare, ObamaCare, Welfare, SSI, etc... instead of organizing as private Citizens and doing the job themselves - that's fine. But you're going to have to give up Civil Liberties (like the right to privacy or the right of expression) no different than ANY OTHER socialist State had to force these restrictions onto it's populace when they demanded all these "Free" 'services' from their Governments. When the Chinese wanted to try on Socialism, they paid for it with the destruction of their 5000 year old civilization; they paid for it with the loss of their civil liberties; they paid for with a destruction of capital and reduction in prosperity. When the Russians tried socialism - the exact same things happened. Likewise happened TO the Germans. Similar things happened TO the Koreans. It happened to the Ancient Romans, it's happening to us. Right in front of your eyes. Each and every day, you are losing your civil liberties. Vote for whomever you wish to vote for - but, this WILL continue to happen.

    Just like clockwork, and as History shows happens time and time again, we are becoming poorer, we are losing our Civil Liberties - and we are indeed, by definition, becoming less prosperous. You can complain about the Left. You can complain about the Right. But if you REALLY want to know who to blame - I'm sure you can find a mirror close by. Take a good look in it. Americans think they can have their cake and eat it too. They actually think "The Government" is paying for their *insert social service*. Well, you're going to learn soon enough that's simply not the case.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Figure it out

    Well, when you're an encrypted email service caught up in one of the biggest espionage cases in recent decades, you can expect some heat from government.

    It sounds kind of like a business owner who runs a dive with shitty service and blames the government when he can't pay his bills.

    The thing is that we will, eventually, find out what's going on here. If this is the email service that Snowden used to transmit documents, well, they're fucked.

    And that's the thing. Is Snowden a whistleblower or just an egomaniac who has broken the law? I have yet to figure out what he's done that is so valuable. Holy shit, the government is spying on its citizens? Let's see ... McCarthy? How about the labor fights of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?

    There's nothing new under the sun, here.

    And it's not a matter of first they came for the Jews. As I've said of this matter before, if this was as thoroughly sinister as people are making it out to be, they would have come for me by now.

    I have no doubt that they're crossing lines of propriety. But what, aside from your hatred of the United States, makes that anything new? The scale? I'm a revolutionary. I've accessed illegal data before. Nobody's come for me. And you know why?

    Because I'm careful to not make myself a threat. A simple example: I've seen the worst the internet has to offer, though I might someday come to recognize that statement as an exaggeration. But I've never paid it forward.

    Yes, I know what these dirty secrets look like. But nobody's coming for me. And the day they do, it won't be for these things. It'll be something stupid.

    Is there a discussion to be had about these policies? Well, duh. Does paranoid hyperbole help the situation? Again, duh.

    Figure it out.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    When you find yourself repeating Fox News talking points, it's time for reflection.

    One important revelation of Snowden's, the one the chaff strewers are working hardest to combat, is that both the scale and scope of the surveillance are much greater than in the past, not as accountable as in the past, and deliberately concealed by the perps from not only the general public but the specific agencies supposed to have oversight, which in turn conceal what they do know from legal scrutiny. No one is both informed and accountable to the public. The "things are as they always have been" line is damage control.

    Another revelation would be that physical and legal mechanisms designed to circumvent the Constitution and abuse American citizens - deliberately and openly set up so - are in place and in use, and nobody except those employing them knows how they are being used.

    You can if you wish argue that we found all this out ten years ago and more, but the "we" you are talking about is not very many people and the discovery has been routinely denied and obscured in the major media. This was not common knowledge among the American people, and it still isn't - the focus on Snowden's tribulations, personality, and motives has become almost complete. But some incremental progress has been made.

    The idea that "we" already knew all this stuff is naive - and having it documented has been good for the public discourse.

    No, that's not what happened to China. Similarly with Russia, Germany, etc - you have no body of facts to draw on, and this lack of factual information hobbles your thinking.
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  7. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Fact: China, East Germany, North Korea and Cuba were (and some are still) socialist.
    Fact: Because Progressive Socialism is so inefficient, it requires that the Socialist Government reduce variables in order to provide any semblance of efficiency; those variables are the citizens civil liberties.

    This will become apparent as the IRS and Federal Reserve (among other agencies) begin working with the NSA to 'help' them 'help' us and give us all those 'free' services you cherish so much. You can kiss your personal privacy bye bye - and as you do, know that it's because of people who think as you think, that we're losing our civil liberties. At some point, all that demagoguery will pay off and (I hope) a group of States vote to legally for State succession. Finally, all you Progressives can live together in your Worker's Paradise. Oh how nice it will be to watch as the hordes of your fellow Progressives descend on your little Progressive Paradise with their hands out and mouths open. In time, the productive part of society, will buy the land back from you, probably for some shiny beads or a used Tivo box, just as we always have.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    As it is, we said yes

    Governments generally always go too far and have to be reeled in by the People. But, to the other, given the explosion of communication routes over the last twenty years, it is also a very difficult proposition to expect that they wouldn't. The question of scale is one of the imagination.

    That is, think back to 1995. Think back to before 1995. Now think of the Information Superhighway. SMS, email, social media, chat, blogging, video playback.

    Okay, now imagine that the government had no interest in this data whatsoever.

    Of course they went too far. And now it's time to reel them in. But it is impossible for me to imagine any president or Congressman, agency boss, or anyone else whose job it is to run the country and keep people safe choosing to simply ignore the flowerpot-cum-whale-tumbling-from-orbit explosion in communications media.

    So now we reel them in. Sometimes, the People have a job to do in governance that goes beyond deciding whether or not to vote.

    And the not very many people probably should have paid attention when the Democrats buckled on FISA. Or when Congress passed the Patriot Act.

    The fact that people need it spelled out for them is what it is. But compared to my forty years on this planet, it seems that a lot of this public outrage is about the fact that there is no reason why they should be suspect. And that's well and fine, but far too many thought it just dandy when all of this was aimed at the other people, the bad guys. You know, like college professors, journalists, actors and musicians, black people, &c.

    And as I mentioned at some point in one of these NSA threads, I've known the government has been trying to get into our computers since Windows 95.

    Meanwhile, Snowden does win some points now; while the House rejected the first knee-jerk bill in response to this issue, there are several more coming. The president wants the Patriot Act provision revised. We are now moving forward.

    Right now there is a lot going on in the public eye. I'm not about to pretend that an encrypted email service coming down while it answers for its role in a potential espionage case staged by a self-aggrandizing fool is the equivalent of a government disappearing people.

    Between my lack of surprise—"Oh, that's how they're doing it. I was wondering."—and Snowden's martyr complex, I'm not ready to give over to the naïveté of pretending to be shocked by the scale of what our government is doing. It may well be that he proves out to be some kind of hero, but there is a lot going on, and a lot to come.

    Take, for instance, the U.S. government's addiction to secrets. Some of these are legitimate security concerns, and some are just bullshit. If the only thing Snowden has done is crack the bullshit, great. But if he's exposed legitimate security secrets, then, yes, we can expect everyone involved in that chain to go down.

    Personally, I have much respect for Glenn Greenwald's work, but he does get ahead of himself sometime. This might be the occasion where he went too far.

    In the end, I would rather Snowden emerge a hero. But I'm not going to jump to put him on the pedestal.

    If We, the People, paid more attention, perhaps this would have come to light after we explicitly said no. As it is, we said yes.
  9. Capracus Registered Senior Member

    The same can be said for the concerns of the private sector. If private citizens are worried about retribution from exposure of their private behavior, then address the merit of the retribution, and allow the exposed behavior to be fairly used to better understand and manage social dynamics.
  10. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    I see Ayn is alive and well. What happened to her dream? You should have secured this dream during the Industrial Revolution, hmm, wonder why it did not happen?
  11. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    No Ayn Rand is dead, she died a long time ago as woman worried about her weight, hooked on pills and incessant chain-smoker. As for her ideas regarding what life would be like under a dictatorial State - yes, that dream is alive and well, and we're living it.

    Detroit, the Worker's Paradise, coming to a theatre near you.
  12. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    The only thing that's going to be 'reeled in' is our personal liberties. The government is never reeled in for long, it only grows, and like any cancer will eventually kill the host.
  13. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Ayn Rand had no clue about science. The recent developments in evolution have put her entirely philosophy to rest.
  14. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Cryptology has always been apart of certain countries embargo's against other countries. If "encrypted email services" used certain customised encryption methods or ones that previously hadn't been listed, they would likely have been scrutinised even without political pressure from other current affairs (e.g. Snowden)

    The governments have always been upset at people trying to hide things from them, I remember the first step towards such measures in around 2001 where-by the US declared it could spy on/bruteforce any encrypted transfer whilst the UK declared it could force people to hand cryptokey's to unlock any data should it come to their attention.

    The general public didn't agree, however with such things as the Patriot Act and other "world events" paving the way, it wasn't going to get discarded, just evolve further in time.

    At the risk of sounding somewhat Irrational, the future for this world is with "Micro-nations". That's small countries that ever split from larger countries or just come about naturally. It can even be questioned if a "Micro-nation" need's a physical location to have citizens, after all the way the world is online who's to say we should be governed by a localised law? Especially if certain groups like (not excluding others) Jewish or Muslim's can have their own internal laws in someone else's sovereignty.
  15. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Update via NBC News: The owner of an encrypted email service used by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he has been threatened with criminal charges for refusing to comply with a secret surveillance order to turn over information about his customers. "I could be arrested for this action," Ladar Levison told NBC News about his decision to shut down his company, Lavabit LLC, in protest over a secret court order he had received from a federal court.

    Welcome to the New Economy

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