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Some People Have Integrity

Juanita in comments alerted me to a story I found on the Beeb: Snowden link to encrypted email service closes

Two encrypted email services have closed down for reasons linked to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

Texas-based Lavabit service has shut down but said legal reasons prevented it explaining why.

Correspondents say Lavabit appears to have been in a legal battle to stop US officials accessing customer details.

In addition, secure communications firm Silent Circle has shut its email service because messages cannot be kept wholly secret.

[Note: I added the links to the companies’ announcements.]

According to TechDirt Silent Circle did something extra – they didn’t announce they were shutting down their e-mail server until after they had destroyed it, so that nothing was recoverable. After what happened to Lavabit, the company felt if they announced they were shutting down a court order might be issued before they could scrub everything.

They went on to say if the government orders them to install an sniffer on their systems, they will cease to operate. Their business is based on a guarantee of privacy, and if they can’t provide it, they don’t really have anything to sell.

So, having already trashed the US Cloud market, Zero has moved on to destroy the US privacy market. Pretty soon the Internet will be routed around us, the way many foreign airline routes already are.

2 comments

1 Kryten42 { 08.14.13 at 1:08 pm }

There’s an interesting take on this here (and other sources). Seems some of the BIG players are worried about the impact (on their profits I’m sure). 😉

Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft Form Alliance To Petition Whitehouse and Congress on NSA Surveillance

Of course, if I were at all cynical… ahem… It could just be that they want to be seen to at least be trying to do the *right* thing, so that can say “Well, we tried! It’s not our fault!” 😉 I mean… If I were at all cynical. Or if I knew what these companies are really like. Oh wait, I do! 😆

Oh, notice that they aren’t asking for the Gov to *stop* it, just so they can disclose the requests for info under FISA.

2 Bryan { 08.14.13 at 2:23 pm }

The reality is that if these were targeted requests none of this would be necessary on the part of the ‘Big Guys’, but given that they are permitting the hoovering of their data, people don’t trust them. Yahoo and Twitter raised as much hell as possible, but the ‘Big Guys’ just went along. The damage has been done and no matter what kind of deal that could get worked out, other than real external oversight after the programs come under compliance with the Constitutional protections, no one is going to trust them ever again.

If they want to show some ‘good will’ they could get together and donate a billion dollars of their excess profits to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union and stop spending money for lobbyists for tax breaks and slave labor from overseas.

I never trusted any of them, so this certainly won’t effect my view.