Friday, August 9, 2013

Lavabit and Silent Circle (Mail) Suspend Operations; Wikimedia Acts to Thwart NSA Spying

encrypted email keys
  • “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit…”
  • “Silent Circle has preemptively discontinued Silent Mail service to prevent spying.”
  • Wikimedia to make system-wide changes to thwart NSA spying on users
Lavabit and Silent Circle -- Lavabit and Silent Circle, has suspended their email operations rather than collaborate with the NSA’s violation of the Constitutional rights of Americans.

fourth amendment violation cartoon steve benson cagle cartoons 

 Ladar Levison, owner and operator of Lavabit, forced to suspend operations of the email company because he would not collaborate with the federal government is pursuing remedy to the violation of his liberties and that of his customers in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and as posted on their website (screenshot below), a “…favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company….”
…After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests….
Before the NSA comes knocking Silent Circle, a global encrypted communications company, read the writing on the wall and decided to suspend its email services for the same reasons.
…We've been thinking about this for some time, whether it was a good idea at all. Yesterday, another secure email provider, Lavabit, shut down their system less they ‘be complicit in crimes against the American people.’ We see the writing on the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail. We have not received subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we are acting now….
Specifically targeted by Xkeyscore, Wikimedia is switching to https--
The Wikimedia Foundation believes strongly in protecting the privacy of its readers and editors. Recent leaks of the NSA’s XKeyscore program have prompted our community members to push for the use of HTTPS by default for the Wikimedia projects. Thankfully, this is already a project that was being considered for this year’s official roadmap and it has been on our unofficial roadmap since native HTTPS was enabled. Our current architecture cannot handle HTTPS by default, but we’ve been incrementally making changes to make it possible. Since we appear to be specifically targeted by XKeyscore, we’ll be speeding up these efforts….

To date, very few companies have stood up to Obama administration thugs.  Who will take a stand for liberty next?

The Obama administration has made the privacy of an individual a criminal act.

NSA tool, XKeyscore, intercepts and collects individual's internet activity in ‘real-time’

Xkeyscore page 12 email http phone number user activity etc 

Pursuant to training material and as exposed last week by the Guardian, NSA tool, XKeyscore, provides government the capability to collect the content of emails, websites visited, searches and metadata. XKeyscore is also capable of intercepting the internet activity of an individual in real-time and locating “exploitable machines in country x” (screenshot below). 

Xkeyscore page 24 search out and spy on exploitable machines 

…training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

XKeyscore Is a Hacker's Jackpot  
Former NSA Chief on Latest Leaked Dragnet Spy Program: It's Real, and It's Spectacular NSA's XKeyscore is a global dragnet for vulnerable systems  
DEA and NSA Team Up to Share Intelligence, Leading to Secret Use of Surveillance in Ordinary Investigations  
NSA, on US soil, systematically searches Americans' cross-border communications without warrants

All posts cross-posted on PUMABydesign001's Blog