"I was faced with the choice of watching it suffer, or putting it to sleep quietly... it was very difficult," he told Democracy Now. "I had to
pick between the lesser of two evils."
What was that other choice? "Unfortunately, I can't talk about that," Levison said during today's interview. "I would like to, believe me. I
think that if the American people knew what our government was doing, they wouldn't be allowed to do it anymore. My hope is that the media can
uncover what's going on without my assistance," and pressure Congress, he said. Together with Lavabit's own efforts working through the court
system, he hopes it can "put a cap on what the government is entitled to in terms of our private communications."
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AARON MATÉ: We turn now to the news an encrypted email service believed to have been used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has
abruptly shut down. The move came amidst a legal fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to customer information.
The owner of Lavabit, Ladar Levison, wrote a message online saying, quote, "I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in
crimes against the American people, or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit." Ladar Levison said he was barred from
discussing the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision.
He went on to write, quote, "This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I
would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States."
Later on Thursday, another secure email provider called Silent Circle also announced it was shutting down.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, in a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by Ladar Levison, founder, owner and
operator of Lavabit. We’re also joined by his lawyer, Jesse Binnall.
We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Ladar Levison, let’s begin with you. Explain the decision you made.
LADAR LEVISON: Yeah, well, I’ve—thank you, Amy. I’ve compared the decision to that of, you know, putting a beloved pet to sleep, you know, faced
with the choice of watching it suffer or putting it to sleep quietly. It was a very difficult decision. But I felt that in the end I had to pick
between the lesser of two evils and that shutting down the service, if it was no longer secure, was the better option. It was, in effect, the lesser
of the two evils.
AMY GOODMAN: What are you facing? When you say "the lesser of two evils," what was the other choice?
LADAR LEVISON: Unfortunately, I can’t talk about that. I would like to, believe me. I think if the American public knew what our government was
doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore, which is why I’m here in D.C. today speaking to you. My hope is that, you know, the media can
uncover what’s going on, without my assistance, and, you know, sort of pressure both Congress and our efforts through the court system to, in
effect, put a cap on what it is the government is entitled to in terms of our private communications.
(gravely voice) "Here, it's like this Lavabit, we got this here offer you need to hear. You let us be your partners and we'll let you stay in
business. See, you can't be telling anyone though. You must keep up appearances, but let us see and access everything your customers are told we
I'm thinking that's probably a good part of what he can't say. Just my guess.
The time is coming when people will be charged for thought crimes, just like the movie Minority Report. Oh wait I am sorry they already are. The kid
with the big mouth on Facebook that spent months in jail for saying something in poor taste is but a recent example. There are dozens more. I would
put together a thread on it but long ago realized that the fight is lost. Americans for the most part, could give a rats ass.
When told that everything is being watched and stored to use against them at a later time most Americans say something like "Well if you don't do
anything wrong you don't have anything to hide". Seriously try it out, you will find most really don't care.
Recently I got sued for 300k due to a minor traffic accident that I admitted fault on. No injuries at all, but sued anyway. The Plaintiff's
attorney requested my phone carrier to provide 30 days of my cell phones records. One would think that it not a big deal as handheld phone use while
driving is not legal. However why did they want 30days and not just ten minutes? The answer is simple, they want it in an attempt to find anything
they can in those records to call your character into question......
Soon it will be possible for local branches of the Government to have access to NSA type records. Why? because we really don't seem to care.
Imagine a Government that has better records of where and when you were where than you do. Any kind of trial and you will lose as you can't remember
exact times so your credibility will be called into question.
Fun and games are over people. Better think very carefully about what you say, email, or type anywhere on the web.
I fully agree that apathy is a big part, but equally significant I believe is the fact that to resist is to welcome a literal gun in your face.
Citizens delude themselves with a "who cares" stance on these government intrusions so that they can sleep at night and also because they have no
choice in the matter. They're not being asked for their opinion.
edit on 14-8-2013 by Urantia1111 because: (no reason given)
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