posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 01:07 PM
The New Yorker has published the story of Lavabit thus far and it's going to get you angry.
The story starts with a collection of "court-watchers" repeatedly checking the Fourth Circuit dockets. The "watchers" were able to deduce that
Lavabit's appeals showed up as 13-4625
and 13-426. That's where the
The New Yorker
As the Times reported last week, the unsealed documents reveal that the first chapter of Levison’s “tangle with law enforcement” began in
May—well before the first Snowden leak of the N.S.A.’s massive database of call logs broke in June—when an F.B.I. agent left his business card
on Levison’s doorstep. On June 10th, the government secured an order from the Eastern District of Virginia. The order, issued under the Stored
Communications Act, required Lavabit to turn over to the F.B.I. retrospective information about one account, widely presumed to be that of Snowden.
(The name of the target remains redacted, and Levison could not divulge it.) The order directed Lavabit to surrender names and addresses, Internet
Protocol and Media Access Control addresses, the volume of each and every data transfer, the duration of every “session,” and the “source and
destination” of all communications associated with the account. It also forbade Levison and Lavabit from discussing the matter with anyone.
When Levison didn’t comply, the government issued a summons, “United States of America v. Ladar Levison,” ordering him to explain himself on
July 16th. The newly unsealed documents reveal tense talks between Levison and the F.B.I. in July. Levison wanted additional assurances that any
device installed in the Lavabit system would capture only narrowly targeted data, and no more. He refused to provide real-time access to Lavabit data;
he refused to go to court unless the government paid for his travel; and he refused to work with the F.B.I.’s technology unless the government paid
him for “developmental time and equipment.”
At approximately 1:30 p.m. CDT on August 2, 2013, Mr. Levison gave the F.B.I. a printout of what he represented to be the encryption keys needed to
operate the pen register. This printout, in what appears to be four-point type, consists of eleven pages of largely illegible characters. To make use
of these keys, the F.B.I. would have to manually input all two thousand five hundred and sixty characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this
laborious process would render the F.B.I. collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data.