NSA

Feds Threaten To Arrest Email Provider for Closing Rather Than Snooping on Customers

|

Reason 24/7
Reason

Reason readers know that, recently, encrypted email provider Lavabit closed its doors rather than spy on its customers at the command of the United States government. Lavabit's action was almost immediately echoed by Silent Circle, which preemptively shuttered its encrypted email service and purged users' stored data without warning so that it couldn't be subject to a similar order.

Unfortunately, the government's position seems to be the same as that of the Mafia: If you're told to do business with the mob, you don't get to decide otherwise. Lavabit owner Ladar Levison reportedly faces arrest for his decision to shut down rather than cooperate.

From 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 that is overseeing the investigation into Snowden.

Lavabit said he was barred by federal law from elaborating on the order or any of his communications with federal prosecutors. But a source familiar with the matter told NBC News that James Trump, a senior litigation counsel in the U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria, Va., sent an email to Levison's lawyer last Thursday – the day Lavabit was shuttered—stating that Levison may have "violated the court order," a statement that was interpreted as a possible threat to charge Levison with contempt of court.

Among the people supporting Lavabit and its owner is Ron Paul. The former congressman and presidential candidate is championing Levison in statements to the press and on his new online news service. According to NBC News:

Among those now backing him is former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who told NBC News on Tuesday that Levison's legal battle "should be in the interests of everybody who cares about liberty."

Levison may need that support. He says he has been "threatened with arrest multiple times over the past six weeks." You can help him with his legal defense fund here.

If you're looking for secure email, Netherlands-based Startpage/Ixquick is in beta on StartMail, a paid encrypted service it expects to offer to the public soon. Kim Dotcom of Mega also plans an encrypted email service based outside the United States. Or you could avoid online services and install PGP on an email client such as Thunderbird.

Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories at @reason247.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

197 responses to “Feds Threaten To Arrest Email Provider for Closing Rather Than Snooping on Customers

  1. Isabella. I just agree… Jerry`s blog is unbelievable… on tuesday I bought a gorgeous Jaguar E-type from earning $5500 this last 4 weeks and-over, ten k this past month. it’s by-far the nicest work I’ve had. I started this 3 months ago and immediately started earning minimum $83 per/hr. I work through this link, …. http://www.jobs76.com

  2. An illegal immigrant has apparently taken anonbot’s job.

    WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END

    1. What? Just because pimpbot’s handle is “juan” you assume he’s an illegal immigrant?

      1. What? Just because pimpbot’s handle is “juan” you assume he’s an illegal immigrant?

        That’s just how those bots roll HM.

        1. Perhaps, but if he were an “illegal,” he wouldn’t have bought an Jaguar. It would have been a ’64 low-rider.

          Jus’ sayin’

          1. *a Jaguar

          2. Needs more cow bell. I play this on the jukebox all the time when I go out.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xTGrfs5TXM

            1. And of course, you refer to your ride as “Da Luf Machine” and it’s filled with skanks.

            2. Low Rider is cool….the Pepsi commercial before the video was better. Mmmmm Victory Sheets….You sleep on my face….?

          3. And if anybody got an E-type for $5K, you wouldn’t want it.

          4. And of course he’d be bumping this on the stereo

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDX2eB3IdV8

      2. Because what amurcun would work for $83/hr?

      3. Roll that beautiful beaner footage?

    2. You know, given the context, I wish the actual “anon” bot would return. We could use some good advertising for privacy websites in this thread.

      1. AnonBot was arrested for shutting down its websites rather than complying with the NSA…

  3. I hope he is storing all of his equipment in the magnet room.

  4. If they were going to arrest and charge him, I suspect they probably would have done it by now. Keep fighting these bastards Mr. Levison!

    1. That would be an interesting question — have they gone after anyone for disclosing or refusing to comply with a National Security Letter? Seems like to do so, you have to admit that the letter exists, in court.

      They probably don’t want to do that much, if it can be avoided.

      1. Seems like to do so, you have to admit that the letter exists, in court.

        That would only be the case if there was any law, anywhere, that the national security state could not brush aside whenever it wanted.

        1. Indefinite Detention.

        2. Uh, picking up a US citizen off American soil and holding him for longer than a few days without charges or any public explanation would be a seriously bright red line to cross. Especially in a non-terrorism case.

          The closest thing would be Jose Padilla, and they weren’t exactly quiet about why they arrested him in that case.

          1. It’s not precisely analogous, but what about Manning’s three year detention? He was charged, so maybe it’s more toward the speedy trial end of things.

            1. Well, military prosecutions are a whole other ball game, and a lot of the delays in Manning’s trial came at the request of the defense for more preparation time.

              1. That’s fair.

                I do think expedience is gradually overcoming the rule of law, when even nominally anti-war leftists get behind dronemurder and elective wars abroad so long as the right person presides over it. Laws aren’t upheld because the paper on which they’re written is super flame-retardant, they’re upheld by popular consent, and the notion of a fully equitable, fully accountable legal system is falling out of fashion.

          2. Uh, picking up a US citizen off American soil and holding him for longer than a few days without charges or any public explanation would be a seriously bright red line to cross. Especially in a non-terrorism case.

            The solution, of course, is for the feds to claim that they suspect terrorists may have been using his service.

            1. I think they’d do precisely this if they thought they could get away with it, as it mirrors their approach with Manning and Assange.

              At this point they don’t want to risk an adverse court ruling while they’re still in the process of solidifying executive power. BO has more judicial appointments to make, you know.

    2. With its access to limitless legal resources, the Feds know that they can utterly destroy a man with arrest and conviction.

      They can just drive the man to bankruptcy in legal bills. If that’s not enough to drive him into despondency, they can use law enforcement resources to harass the man.

      1. with = without

    3. Threatening to arrest someone to make them obey you is nothing but extortion. Either they have grounds to charge him with a crime, or they don’t. I would wager that they don’t.

      The federal government has no legal power at all to conscript us as informants.

      -jcr

  5. …”Kim Dotcom of Mega also plans an encrypted email service based outside the United States.”…

    Not sure that’ll help; look at what the US has forced on foreign banks.

  6. The Obama Administration seems to have just declared all out war.

    I don’t know if it’s against anybody that criticizes them, or if it’s just a general contempt for people’s rights…

    But from Snowden to Lavabit, if you tell the American people something the Obama Administration doesn’t want them to know, they’re coming after you for sure.

    And it doesn’t look like anybody in the mainstream media cares.

    1. If the time reporter from yesterday is any indication, the media wants to write defenses of the administration’s abuses.

      1. You’re being too kind.

        He wants the Obama Administration to murder someone, so he can defend it in print.

        He’s apparently gone from being a member of Obama’s personality cult to…needing an evaluation from a good psychiatrist.

        I assume Time will fire him, but they should really try to get him the help he needs.

        1. The same Time that feels the need to publish fullpage pieces on how only Obama knows just how much vacation Obama needs, so stop saying feelbad things about him, you big meanies?

          Yeah, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

          1. Well, if I were Time, I’d insist he submitted to a psychiatric evaluation, and if he passed, I’d fire him.

          2. Considering Time’s readership is somewhere below that of Lonewacko’s blog, does it even matter what they publish anymore?

        2. Would it shock anyone to learn that the regime is using secret NSA spying to blackmail journalists and politicians?

          Would anyone even care if such a revelation came out?

          I’m guessing, no and no.

          1. Given things like this guy’s tweet, I would be surprised to find out that any arm twisting was necessary.

            Far be it from me to criticize anybody for firing The Weigel, but Dave got fired from the Washington Post over a lot less than that.

            1. Not that Weigel has stopped pumping out reprehensible nonsense, of course, he’s merely moved on to someplace where it’s fashionable.

              1. Far be it from to criticize anybody for firing the The Weigel!

                But he was busted for something he wrote on a message board somewhere, effectively calling Tea Park people “rat-fuckers”, etc.

                Nothing anywhere near as bad as wishing death on a someone, who is presumably a subject of some of his stories.

          2. Would it shock anyone to learn that the regime is using secret NSA spying to blackmail journalists and politicians?

            Next will be bloggers.

            Wait…has anyone seen Sloopy lately?

    2. He declared that war a long time ago, and it’s against people who criticize him and threaten him. Even gently mocking him will get you targeted, like the rodeo clown in the Obama mask.

      And it doesn’t look like anybody in the mainstream media cares.

      Um, the “mainstream media” is his largest group of allies! They’re his foot soldiers in the war.

      1. I despise BO, but the rodeo clown was way out of bounds. Not for “racism” but for inviting the audience to desire the death of the president (or anyone else).

        There shouldn’t be any LEGAL consequences, but I totally agree with the state fair banning him for life.

        1. Bullshit.

          It was a rodeo clown bit. That’s all.

          Were things like this and this equally out of bounds?

          1. Yes, they were out of bounds. Not enough to justify any legal/prosecutory action, but they were out of bounds.

            The rodeo clown asked the audience “would you like to see Obama run over by a bull”?

            1. And that’s a threat how?

              Contrast that to images of the last president with a bullet hole in his head and a movie jerking off to fantasies of his assassination.

              1. I never actually saw Death of a President, however I notice that it does have the totally original plotline of “Middle Eastern Muslim framed for assassination actually committed by ex-military white male”. Yeah, that’s a real M. Night Shyamaladingdong twist right there. Never would have seen that coming.

                On a semi-related note, I’m glad White House Down flopped. Lightworker fantasy wetdream garbage.

            2. The audacity!

              We must purge this vile strain of l?se- majest? from the land!

            3. “The rodeo clown asked the audience “would you like to see Obama run over by a bull”?”

              Not exactly a death threat.

              1. I didn’t even know the details.

                1. At the rodeo here last Saturday night, a clown wearing an Obama mask stood on the arena’s dirt floor, propped up like a straw man with the appearance that a broom stick was going up his backside. A second clown called him “ya big goober.” Before letting the bull loose to charge at the clown with the Obama mask, the second clown provided live narration over the loudspeakers:

                  “Obama, they’re coming for you this time.”

                  “He’s going to getcha, getcha, getcha.”

                  “Yahoo! We’re gonna smoke Obama.”

              2. Not exactly a death threat.

                Agreed — WHICH IS WHY I SAID IT SHOULDN’T BE PROSECUTED/INVESTIGATED.

                It doesn’t have to be a death threat to be tasteless and offensive.

                1. “tasteless and offensive” is the currency of the day. Have you seen what’s popular on shitholes like MTV?

          2. Were things like this and this equally out of bounds?

            Tulpa’s for free speech…

            Except for when he’s not.

            1. I am all for speech being free. That doesn’t require being for the speech that is free.

              1. There’s a difference between not being for speech that’s free and wanting to make it not free.

        2. Yeah, it wasn’t the right crowd. It reminded me of Gilber Gottfried telling 9/11 jokes too soon.

          Unless you’re trying to piss people off for effect, you need the right audience.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmOvl6lQEhg

          1. OK, Ken, let’s turn the tables.

            Say the rodeo clown used an Ed Snowden or Julian Assange or Bradley Manning mask instead of a BO mask. Does it suddenly become in poor taste?

            (and I guarantee you would have gotten a similar reaction from that crowd if they recognized who the mask was of)

            1. (and I guarantee you would have gotten a similar reaction from that crowd if they recognized who the mask was of)

              Which is kind of the point of going with Obama. A caricature of him is recognizable by everyone and it’s an American tradition to ridicule the politically powerful.

              1. There’s ridicule and there’s cheering for violence against — two very different things.

                1. So when Bushpighitlermonkeyface’s head was displayed on a spike in the season one finale of Game of Thrones, was HBO ridiculing him or cheering for violence against?

                  1. Depends on how it was depicted, it could be either.

                    If they were cheering violence against Bush, I would consider that offensive and register my disgust by boycotting HBO. Of course I was already boycotting them because I didn’t want to pay for it.

              2. A rodeo clown is a character similar to a court jester or a comic figure in a Chinese opera.

                It is intolerably offensive to ridicule the leader of an ostensibly democratic republic, who should always be treated with reverence, deference, and respect. That’s the duty of all citizens in free society.

                In history the court jester or similar figures could ridicule a European monarch or Chinese emperor. And, of course, such is possible today when Republicans are in office.

                1. Nice strawman you have there, Cato. It’d be a shame if anyone burned it (or run it over with a bull).

            2. What are you arguing about?

              Most people think the clown was fired because his mask was racist.

              You’re arguing that killing the president for laughs is in poor taste?

              Really?

              What’s your next argument? That eating crap sandwiches tastes like shit?

              Are you just here to troll, or what?

              1. But James Staab, a political science professor at the University of Central Missouri, said last week’s incident “goes beyond the pale ? they’re talking about physical injury and racial stereotypes.”

                In the stands, Perry Beam was so sickened by the scene he began recording it.

                “It reminded me of a [Ku Klux] Klan rally,” Beam said. “It had that hateful aspect. It was the way they cheered, the anger in it. .?.?. You can disagree with a government policy, but that doesn’t prompt you to put a stick up his [backside] and incite the crowd to say how many of you want to see him be trampled by a bull. To wish that on somebody is hateful.”

                http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

                The usual suspects are pimping the racial angle too because that’s what they do, but the violence aspect is what sealed the deal.

                1. A dude with the surname of “Staab” shouldn’t be talking about violence.

                  Jus’ sayin’

                2. I seem to recall Bush effigies being burned, hanged, and mutilated with some frequency with no equivalent thumbsucking WaPo piece.

                  1. This is the libertarian version of BUSH TOO!!!!!111!!!!!, I guess.

            3. The state fair is fully within its rights to ban someone for so-called “poor taste”; just as I’m fully within my rights for stating they are ninnies for doing so.

              1. Indeed — and I’m fully within my rights to call you a tapir-fucker for your statement. But I won’t.

                1. Good, because everyone knows I have a thing for alpacas, not tapirs.

                  1. Too bad — that floppy nose swinging around can do some amazing things.

                    1. Once you go alpaca, you never go back-a.

              2. Is the state fair public property?

                (Seriously, I don’t know.)

                1. Usually the fairgrounds are public property.

                  In theory he could try to file a first amendment suit, but he’s probably better off just trying to lay low until people forget about this. The violence angle is going to pretty much stymie any first amendment claims.

      2. I don’t watch Fox News, but has the story been picked up there, at all?

        Any mention of this from the Sunday morning news programs? Seems like they all use phony conservatives anyway…

        Flipping around, I haven’t seen anyone even mention this story yet.

        1. Fox News probably brought on Peter King to have him tell everybody why the Lavabit guy is a crazy terrorist who hates Americans.

          1. I wasn’t really paying attention to what he said, but Peter King was in fact on Fox News Sunday this morning (or whatever it’s called).

  7. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Only took 10 years to go from, “we’ll only use this against the terrorists” to “FUCK YOU THAT’S WHY”.

    Axiom supported.

    1. Oh, it happened before then.

    2. Ashcroft used PATRIOT Act powers to bust strip clubs in Vegas back in 2003.

      http://articles.chicagotribune…..fbi-agents

  8. I need to start encrypting everything. I’ve done a couple web searches lately that were purely academic (like how to fly an airplane and flight simulation software), and I immediately thought, that’s going in the database.

    1. But encrypting it is admission of guilt!

      1. Well the assumption is that we’re all guilty of something anyways. That’s how you get ultimate power. Who needs blackmail (racist) when you can just have presumed guilt. The trial is merely for sentencing purposes. Plead innocent you get death, plead guilty you are banished to another form of sure death.

    2. And this is where Reason’s shoddy reporting has real-life consequences… they say that someone got visited by the FBI because of a google search for pressure cookers, and then it turns out it wasn’t the FBI (the local police) and wasn’t a google search (tip from a nosy neighbor) and they don’t even bother correcting it. Result: paranoia.

      I seriously doubt there is a database, and even more seriously doubt that the eeeeeeeevil government has, or is ever going to have, the resources to make trouble for everyone searching for flight simulation software if they wanted to.

      1. Well you trust them more than I do. Maybe they don;t have the resources or ability right now but if they don’t I have no doubt they are working on it.

        1. Well, it’s not really trust; I’m sure they would if they could. But we’re talking about a computationally intractable problem, even before we get to the question of how you muscle targets in the real world.

          1. “But we’re talking about a computationally intractable problem, even before we get to the question of how you muscle targets in the real world.”

            But for how long? Why not get ahead of these things. I’m not talking about spending all of my time or money being paranoid about it. I’m talking about taking a few cheap simple measures as insurance.

          2. we’re talking about a computationally intractable problem

            Are you sure? IBM’s “Watson” answers Jeopardy questions posed in natural language; I would be surprised if the technology (or its creators’ services) haven’t been purchased by the NSA or some other govt. agency.

            1. IBM’s “Watson” answers Jeopardy questions posed in natural language

              Those are very different problems. Compared to the amount of traffic on the net, Watson had a microscopic database to sift through — and he didn’t have to identify where the information came from.

              1. Those are very different problems. Compared to the amount of traffic on the net, Watson had a microscopic database to sift through

                If the capability to parse natural language “questions” (contents of emails, queries over the Net &c.) exists, then the real problem is solved; the “microscopic” database which makes such parsing possible exists (and can always be increased). If the problem is the existence of enough processing power (and storage) to effectively monitor — admittedly — huge amounts of input, that’s a question scaling Watson (actually, numerous Watsons) up to handle it.

                ECHELON existed since the early ’60s; and according to the European Parliament, “[t]he report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally”. (A scaled-up implementation of) Watson would make the “content inspection” aspect more in-depth — at least to the extent of providing the human analysts with “better” predictions regarding what’s worth their attention.

                So I’m still not sure that automated “content inspection” (preprocessing) is a a “computationally intractable problem”.

                1. Dude, they’re totally different problems.

                  NLP is about taking a specific collection of human language text and converting it to a meaningful, computable symbolic representation, so that it can, for example, answer questions about the material (which is what Watson did). Watson displayed no ability to explain *how* it knew the answers (/questions, whatever) or where the data came from — which is what the claims about the NSA pertain to. Most of the time it was probably just sifting through Wikipedia articles (which were stored in its memory).

                  The govt isn’t alleged to be using the Internet to answer questions about pressure cookers or flight simulation software, it’s supposed to be finding the people who are looking for that information. Which is a very different problem — like finding 10,000 needles in a quadrillion-needle haystack.

                  1. Watson displayed no ability to explain *how* it knew the answers (/questions, whatever) or where the data came from — which is what the claims about the NSA pertain to.

                    I don’t think so: the issue is content inspection. Assuming that the content is stored with its metadata (in particular the IP address of the originator at the time of the query), it is known (i.e. can be traced back) where the data came from. If the automated content inspection flags a particular content for further analysis, and said (presumably human-conducted) analysis finds something “worthy of attention”, it can always be followed up by identifying the “sender”/content producer. The exact issue is what supposed to be deemed “worthy of attention” by the automated content inspection system: obviously a simple search for “pressure cooker” or “flight simulator software” would provide such a veritable cornucopia of hits as to make the system practically useless. But if NLP helps (not makes it perfect or infallible) the winnowing process to effectively lower the number of hits, then it can serve as an useful system to answer such queries: “was there content emanating from the same (or possibly nearby) source within a fortnight which referred to both pressure cookers and nails or ball bearings plus some type of community events where people congregate?”

                    (cont.)

                    1. And this isn’t a “computationally intractable problem”. Might be a large problem requiring lots of storage and processing power, but Moore’s law and effective parallelization works toward making it reality.

                    2. Moore’s law is bumping up against its limits and parallelization is very hard to scale-up at will for all but the most embarrassingly parallel problems.

                    3. Parsing copious amounts of NL text is a problem which lends itself easily to parallellization. Correlating the results (existing for example in some intermediate representation) of such parsing is less trivially so — but I don’t see any inherent limitation in it.

                      I’m not claiming that the NSA possesses a system which is effectively able to filter out all “criminal plans” from everyday traffic. But a certain amount of effective (“useful”) winnowing is certainly within the capabilities of current computer science and existing hardware. So technically you’re right when you say that the govt. doesn’t have the capability “to make trouble for everyone searching for flight simulation software” — but you don’t have to oppress every individual in a population in order to control the majority of said population: it is enough to “make an example” out of a (possibly very small) minority (for example through “show trials”) in order to put fear into the heart of the majority.

      2. Given what we know the NSA has (taps on most internet traffic), it would be simple to catalog searches. The encrypted sessions for it aren’t a huge issue, either.

        First, you could have an unencrypted tap on google (don’t know). In that case, grab the search string from the packet, grab the cookie so you have the same identifier as google. You’ve got the IP, as well. Toss those in Cassandra.

        If you don’t have an unencrypted tap, take the encrypted chunk (only a tiny size, a few packets for a search). Toss that in Cassandra, using the IP as the key. If you manage to get a few chunk of information to start decrypting a session, get the info you can out of that, and improve what you have on that IP. Maybe add in a set of IP and time correlation.

        If you’ve got the private SSL keys (rumored, but not sure), you can decrypt those sessions at will.

        If you’ve made them use a crippled random number generated (also rumored), you can crack it at will.

        Then, just throw a map reduce job at that Cassandra cluster, and you’ve got chunks of who searched for flight simulator and what else they searched for. Easy big data problem.

        1. There’s big data and there’s exobytes of data….

  9. Federal prosecutors are thugs. They probably feel the need to charge this guy to send a message to any other provider who thinks going out of business is an option.

    1. I think almost anybody that criticizes the Obama Administration in the media should be worried right now.

      Journalists live in the public eye, so they get more of a pass, but criticism from people outside of that profession? The Obama Administration will not tolerate such criticism.

      You’ve been warned.

      1. Put up or shut up, Ken. $1000 says Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck never see any coercive action from the BO administration for criticising him.

        1. “Journalists live in the public eye, so they get more of a pass, but criticism from people outside of that profession?”

          Do you even read the comments you reply to?

          1. Wait, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck are “journalists”? They’re opinion commentators.

            If you expand the definition to include them, who in the media isn’t a journalist? Who are you claiming would be targeted?

            1. “Who are you claiming would be targeted?”

              This story is about Ladar Levison being targeted because of statements made in the media.

              You never change, do you Tulpa? No one could ever spoof you well. You’re uniquely oblivious.

              1. LOL. So your claim is “almost anyone who criticises Obama”, and your evidence is a guy who (may have) already had a court order barring him from talking about a specific law enforcement action involving him.

                If it exists, I don’t agree with the court order and think it unconstitutional, but there’s a big difference between being in danger because you violate a court order and being in danger because you merely criticize the prez.

                1. your evidence is a guy who (may have) already had a secret court order barring him from talking about a specific law enforcement action involving him.

                  Tiny correction.

                  1. Good catch. Like I said I disapprove of the court order (assuming that really exists).

                    1. LOL. So your claim is “almost anyone who criticises Obama”, and your evidence is a guy who (may have) already had a court order barring him from talking about a specific law enforcement action involving him.”

                      LOL

                2. Yeah, my claim is that prosecutors, who answer to Obama, are using courts, whose proceedings are secret, to go after people who don’t keep their mouths shuts about what Obama’s prosecutors are doing to them.

                  …and my evidence of that is that prosecutors, who answer to Obama, are using courts, whose proceedings are secret, to after someone who spoke to the media–even though he didn’t tell us anything about what was in the court order.

                  Restating the obvious–required when dealing with this degree of Tulpitude.

                  1. Yeah, my claim is that prosecutors, who answer to Obama, are using courts, whose proceedings are secret, to go after people who don’t keep their mouths shuts about what Obama’s prosecutors are doing to them.

                    No, your claim was that “anyone criticizing Obama in the media should be worried right now”. Now the goalposts have been moved to the 50 yard line.

            2. “Lavabit said he was barred by federal law from elaborating on the order or any of his communications with federal prosecutors. But a source familiar with the matter told NBC News that James Trump, a senior litigation counsel in the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., sent an email to Levison’s lawyer last Thursday ? the day Lavabit was shuttered — stating that Levison may have “violated the court order,” a statement that was interpreted as a possible threat to charge Levison with contempt of court.”

              Do you need a link for that quote?

        2. Put up or shut up, Ken. $1000 says Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck never see any coercive action from the BO administration for criticising him.

          As I recall Beck had a highly rate show on Fox that was cancelled under pressure from the regime’s goons.

          1. You recall wrongly. Beck himself claimed that it was a mutual decision with the network to end the show, because he wanted to devote more time to his “movement”.

            And seriously — a claim that Fox News cancelled a show to please the Obama administration? How are Hannity and O’Reilly still on?

    2. You are right FOE. The first knee jerk reaction of a thug is to threaten. That’s because it usually gets results.

  10. James Trump, a senior litigation counsel in the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., sent an email to Levison’s lawyer last Thursday ? the day Lavabit was shuttered — stating that Levison may have “violated the court order,” a statement that was interpreted as a possible threat to charge Levison with contempt of court.

    A SECRET court order; which makes even more risible the claim made by sleazebag Senator Blumenthal earlier about what an awesome open and just society we have.

  11. Can anyone tell me if there is a flaw in this simple effort to send anonymous email? Go through tor and sign up for something like hushmail and get a free account. Only ever access husmail through tor. Send encrypted emails. How can the emails be traced back to you at all?

    1. I’m not as sure it’s just the email account. It’s also what computer your using. I’m not a programmer so I don’t know if you could do some sort of false IP or whatever you would need to do.

      1. I just said you’d route through tor the whole time.

        1. my bad. i guess I shouldn’t reply to things I don’t fully understand:)

    2. The first thing that occurs to me is that using TOR may be enough to have them capture the traffic as it goes from your residence to the ISP.

    3. Note that hushmail will cooperate with law enforcement (writeup in Wired or Ars Technica, if you search for it). I wouldn’t be shocked to see them refuse TOR exit nodes, or serve out compromised/bugged JS if ordered to by law enforcement.

      1. I don’t know about them refusing tor exit nodes. I’ve done what I mentioned above many times. You could maybe encrypt a text file as an attachment. That way hushmail will never have access to your message. If both parties use hushmail (or something equally anonymous) over tor, I don’t see how that’s crackable (beyond the ability to game the tor network).

  12. STOP RIGHT THERE. IDENTIFY YOURSELF, TURN OUT YOUR POCKETS, AND PROVE YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG.

    1. But then which jews do the US support? It’s all so confusing.

      1. Clearly we have to support both sides.

    2. If teh Jooos didn’t exist, Arabs would have to invent them.

      1. If the Jews ever got completely fed up with the middle east, and said “fuck it, we’re moving to Brazil”, and removed every Jew from the region, the result would be a century-long bloodbath of muslims fighting over who got to dictate to how to be a muslim to all the other muslims.

        -jcr

  13. But they do exist Thank Allah!

    1. Joanna Angel grew up Orthodox?

      A shanda!

      1. Rachel Weisz is 50 out of 50? Bull fucking shit. Also, Alison Brie is too low.

        1. I don’t think that’s a countdown. just the top 50. Otherwise that list would have lots of problems.

  14. the rodeo clown was way out of bounds.

    1. Glad we agree, PB.

  15. Donated to the defense fund. wonder what kind of list I am on now.

  16. DRAT

    the rodeo clown was way out of bounds.

    Sure he was. That’s why the crowd arose as one and tore him limb from limb.

    1. Not sure what you’re trying to say. By “him” do you mean the rodeo clown or BO himself?

      1. Just because the NAACP called for a federal investigation and the fair banned him for life doesn’t mean there is any kind of chilling effect here. It is totally okay to take away people’s livelihood for the act of criticizing the President in any way the NAACP might find objectionable.

        The fact is all of those people cheered at the thought of the President being harmed. Really, the feds should be investigating them too. Or at the very least they should be banned from attending all public sporting events for life. I mean we can’t have people rooting for the death of the President in public. That is way out of line.

        1. Did you wear ear plugs between 2000 and 2008? I could have lived very well if I a dollar everytime I heard or read about someone saying threatening things about the president then.

          1. Note to new guy: turn on your sarcasm detector.

        2. You’ll notice that I said there should be no coercive actions against anyone involved. The fair banning him for life isn’t coercive.

          And this wasn’t criticism anyway, it was indulging the conversion of ill will into bloodlust. Criticism intends to make people change their mind about the subject, but this act assumed that everyone had already made up their mind about BO.

          The NAACP and SPLC squawk about everything. That’s how they keep the donations coming in.

        3. Or at the very least they should be banned from attending all public sporting events for life.

          Be merciful, just give them sensitivity training. At a camp for sensitivity. With barbed wire fences.

  17. In a weepy article I won’t track down and link, some guy at a Kansas City paper expressed his horrified disgust at the fact that the crowd of racist teathuglican hicks actually seemed to enthusiastically approve of the show.

    Huffing and puffing aside, that clown knows his audience.

    1. oh please. how many times was some Bush effigy burned or disrespected in some other way. the media always had a big laugh over it. Huff Post is one to talk. They’re some of the worst.

      1. I guess libertarians aren’t immune from the tu-quoque bug, either.

        1. First of all I have no problem with burning both of them in effigy. I was merely making a point about the hypocrisy.

        2. I guess libertarians aren’t immune from the tu-quoque bug, either.

          God, you are a fucking asshole.

          Making fun of Obama isn’t alright BECAUSE others made fun of Bush. It’s alright BECAUSE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT, assclown!

          1. The First Amendment doesn’t make anything all right, it just makes things unprosecutable.

            1. Fuck you idiot. Of course it makes it alright. That’s what alright means. You can’t get punished for doing it.

              If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, but don’t tell a stadium full of people what they can think is funny. It’s entertainment, asshole. Or did you think the clown was really considering having the president run over by a bull?

              I know liberals who are more principled than you.

    2. I think that’s what really bothers them. It brought cheers and laughs. If the act had been jeered, no big deal.

      1. You don’t understand why cheers for a depiction of the maiming of a human being are considered to make it worse?

        1. Tulpa, worse things happen in a Punch and Judy puppet show; do you get hot under the collar about those as well?

          1. I would if Punch was wearing an Obama mask and Judy had horns.

            1. Punch and Judy stems from a long history of European political satire. Modern-day shows do include political figures. And harm often comes to them. Both Punch and Judy and rodeo clowns are legitimate forms satire, in my opinion.

              Both performances are in the context of comedy. Just as people who watch a Punch and Judy performance don’t go home and beat the shit out of their wives, the rodeo audience didn’t immediately pick up pitchforks to lynch Obama or the first Obama supporter they saw, or even the first African-American they saw.

              You don’t have to find it particularly funny; however, the charge that the Obama clown incites violence is ludicrous.

              1. If it were inciting violence I would approve of prosecution/investigation which I do not.

                Just because Christina Aguilera’s display of her weenie holster in public didn’t lead to similar actions by those who saw it, doesn’t make it any less tasteless.

                Why are you bringing up the racial angle? I don’t think people were racist, they just intensely dislike BO.

            2. Look dude, your taste in porn is your own business, but you should consider seeking professional help.

              -jcr

        2. It’s a piece of entertainment.

          You must be a lot of fun at the movies.

  18. Many people have multiple jobs today. In this case it seems one of them is working for the NSA. I sure many people in the “news” business actually have two jobs.

  19. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..P-Rep.html

    Hillary Clinton exploded at some Congressman in a secret briefing two days after the attack for even suggesting that Bengazi was the result of terrorism. They really have something to hide about that whole thing.

    1. Something to hide? So far we know that an ambassador was sodomized and then executed, 400 surface-to-air missiles that were being secretly (and illegally?) transferred to Syrian Islamist rebels are now in the hands of a dangerous terrorist group, and a somewhat sleazy but innocent guy was railroaded into accepting blame for the whole thing.

      The only thing they have to hide at this point was that Ambassador Stevens was in a meeting with Representative Glarph-18 from Alpha Centauri B.

      1. Considering how they’re still stonewalling, I’d go long warp drive research in that case.

      2. Don’t forget the secret CIA prison detention and interrogation facility being run there, in direct contravention of one of Obama’s executive orders.

  20. By “him” do you mean the rodeo clown or BO himself?

    Which of those two people was present at the rodeo, Mister wizard?

    1. OK, so what’s your point? If the crowd enjoys it, it can’t be in bad taste?

  21. We need background checks for anybody who tries to buy a Barack Obama mask, in order to ensure it will only be used to promote the President’s agenda and portray him in a positive and appropriately reverential manner.

    1. Fuck off.

      Answer my question about Ed Snowden or Brad Manning masks.

      1. Wah wah wah. Do you want a block of cheese and some crackers to go with that fine whine?

    2. Oooh! Is there a unit for offensiveness?!? Any masks over 1k aristocrats have to be stored securely, with warrentless inspections by LEO!

    3. That’s not nearly enough. Your Obama mask should be secured in a locked receptacle, to ensure it does not fall into the hands of an unlicensed satirist/trick-or-treater. Ensure compliance with an annual, unannounced inspection by the local police. Easy-peasy.

  22. You don’t understand why cheers for a depiction of the maiming of a human being are considered to make it worse?

    That cross makes your ass look huge.

  23. If the crowd enjoys it, it can’t be in bad taste?

    “If you children can’t behave, this field trip is over; we’re going to get right back on that bus and go back to the school.”

    Maybe the Missouri State Fair should be canceled, because those hillbilly bastard retards can’t be trusted to behave themselves.

  24. One translation of Lavabit from the Latin is “He will purge”. I wonder if that was the intended meaning all along?

  25. Are you people arguing with Tulpa over what he’s offended by?

    Are you fucking stupid? You’re fucking stupid, aren’t you? Bunch of goddamn dumbasses.

    If there’s one thing Tulpa does well it’s being a pearl clutching old lady that finds something offensive, and you want to die on that subjective hill? Go outside and BBQ or something. He’ll waste away your entire weekend with this bullshit. Gawd.

    1. Heh.

      No BBQ, frying chicken livers here. You would approve GBN, using lots of pepper sauce to marinate and batter the livers.

      Checking in here occasionally and laughing.

      1. I’m going to be grilling a skirt steak and doing tacos latter with fresh onions, green peppers and jalapenos all just pulled from our garden. Prolly fry up some tortilla chips with the local made corn tortillas we get that are awesome.

      2. Oysters and shallots fried and combined with roasted onions, cauliflower and mushrooms, and then stewed in butter and sherry served on a bed of brown rice. I love oysters something fierce.

        1. Whoops, shallots were roasted with the other vegetables.

  26. balefully glaring

    in his martyr’s thorny crown

    tulpa on his cross

  27. I don’t see authorities ever letting this in the hands of the general public in the form of communications applications. It would be the death-knell for their ability to eavesdrop through monitoring the (figurative) pipeline.

    The First Quantum Teleportation In A Computer Chip

  28. some offshore alternatives:
    https://countermail.com/

    Diskless web servers
    Unlike the competitors, our web servers are diskless. They don’t have any hard drives and instead start from a CD-ROM. This will ensure that everything possible is being done to keep your anonymity.

    MITM protection
    As far as we know, we’re the only provider that has protection against Man-In-The-Middle attacks. The OpenPGP-encryption will always protect the contents of your email, but to protect your identity and to protect against MITM-attacks you must have another crypto layer. Most providers use SSL for this, but SSL is not always secure enough.

    USB Key option
    If you purchase this option, your email account will become even more secure, because it will be impossible to login without your USB key inserted into the USB-port.

    Other features
    True end-to-end security
    Anonymous email headers
    ….

    1. a lot of the wording on their site concerns me. I’m not sure I like the idea of trusting their java app on a USB keychain for login, but maybe that’s fine.

      Actually, the big one is the MITM protection — crypto is the sort of thing where amateurs throwing more layers on it can make it less secure. The page on their MITM protection seems… muddled.

      Of course, the way to avoid it is probably to get someone a paper copy of the key fingerprint for it, and then set the browser to only allow that one (maybe an FF/Chrome extension).

      1. Yeah, I wouldn’t use the Java client either since that was how Hushmail fell to the Feds. But they do offer IMAP server

  29. Time to leave the country. And, don’t take a connecting flight through Russia.

    1. Had always thought about new Zealand but their government kowtows a little too much too ours.

      1. It needs to be somewhere that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

        Aren’t Assange and Snowden both trying to get to Ecuador?

        That must be a pretty good place for people Obama hates to run to. What do I know about running from Obama that they don’t know?

        1. Ecuador is way too hot for me.

          1. Yeah, but if the alternative is six months in a federal prison?

            What are they givin’ people for contempt these days?

            This isn’t one of those numbers where someone is being found in contempt for refusing to testify. They might keep him in prison until they can figure out whether to try him for espionage or aiding the enemy or something.

      2. Chile for me.

    2. Just when I thought vowing to encrypt everything you do on the net was paranoid… along comes Hazel to take it up a notch. Really, people?

      1. You left this comment after you commented on the thread about them going after Glenn Greenwald’s boyfriend!

        I’m pretty sure Hazel was addressing that comment to Ladar Levison’s situation, specifically, but there’s nothing surprising about you missing the obvious. I mean, you thinking that Hazel meant we should all flee the country would be pretty typical.

        Seriously, have you ever been formally diagnosed with Asperger syndrome?

        1. Then you all totally misinterpreted Hazel’s comment too, since you’re up there weighing your options for fleeing the country.

  30. No doubt about it man, you want privacy, you gotta encrypt EVERYTHING. Wow.

    http://www.Prime-Anon.tk

    1. THERE’S privacy AnonBot

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.