How Snowden’s email provider will reshape the Internet privacy debate

NEW YORK — Ladar Levison, creator of the ultrasecure email service Lavabit, is an imperfect civil-liberties hero. He is not opposed to working with the government, and he set out to write code, not become an activist. But after being thrust into the public eye as email provider to former National Security Agency contractor and whistle-blower Edward Snowden, he could now set a crucial precedent for online privacy. 
At stake is a key — a string of letters, numbers and symbols — that unlocks many of the Internet’s most basic transactions, including messaging, banking and shopping. In order to spy on a Lavabit email address widely believed to be Snowden’s — though redacted from court filings — a federal judge ordered Levison to give the government his key. With it, agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation would have been able to unlock the encryption protecting Lavabit, known as secure sockets layer, or SSL. They would have had the capability to read everything, including email content and credit card information, flowing from its 400,000 customers. After months of stalling, Levison turned over his SSL key but shut down his company.

Read more
Photo: Sipa/AP

How Snowden’s email provider will reshape the Internet privacy debate

NEW YORK — Ladar Levison, creator of the ultrasecure email service Lavabit, is an imperfect civil-liberties hero. He is not opposed to working with the government, and he set out to write code, not become an activist. But after being thrust into the public eye as email provider to former National Security Agency contractor and whistle-blower Edward Snowden, he could now set a crucial precedent for online privacy. 

At stake is a key — a string of letters, numbers and symbols — that unlocks many of the Internet’s most basic transactions, including messaging, banking and shopping. In order to spy on a Lavabit email address widely believed to be Snowden’s — though redacted from court filings — a federal judge ordered Levison to give the government his key. With it, agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation would have been able to unlock the encryption protecting Lavabit, known as secure sockets layer, or SSL. They would have had the capability to read everything, including email content and credit card information, flowing from its 400,000 customers. After months of stalling, Levison turned over his SSL key but shut down his company.

Read more

Photo: Sipa/AP

  1. a-beanr reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica and added:
    Great article.
  2. thatbaconlovingbastard reblogged this from nothingman
  3. somegirlstakemyclothes reblogged this from silas216
  4. randycwhite reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  5. nothingman reblogged this from silas216
  6. silas216 reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  7. stereoma reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  8. wallibee reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  9. den1990 reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  10. unfurling reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica and added:
    “I’m not anti-government. But I’m pro-freedom.” -Ladar Levison
  11. aymanthewillis reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  12. gracefree reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  13. yourenotaloneinthis reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  14. wreckitalll reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica and added:
    good for him. fucking bullies.
  15. caprediem reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  16. americanhunger reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  17. ajfaultlines reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  18. whothinksthethoughts reblogged this from aljazeeraamerica
  19. aljazeeraamerica posted this