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Lavabit founder, under gag order, speaks out about shut-down decision

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posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 12:26 PM
First off, is it even legal that Levison cannot speak to his legal counsel? How can he determine if the gag order is even legal and binding with out proper consulting with a legal expert?


"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."

Video Transcript

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.

Additional Reading
The Guardian

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 12:31 PM
Sounds like the Chicago-Way came knocking....

(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 can't see."

I'm thinking that's probably a good part of what he can't say. Just my guess.

We have a Mafia with the power of a Government.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 12:34 PM
Why does what he is not saying, scare the hell out of me, in terms of what the government is really doing?
And why am I surprised the MSM is not all over digging into what is going on here?

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 01:01 PM
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.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 01:10 PM
There is a lengthy, ongoing thread about this topic. The same vid is already posted within the thread too. Glad to see more attention being given to this though.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

We have a Mafia with the power of a Government.

Or worse, a Government with the morals of a Mafia.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 01:17 PM
Yeah well trust and believe our "media" WONT cover it. The only way to get the word out is to try to make the story go viral.

Disgusting. They won't cover Barrett Brown either. Freaking whores. Sold us all out. They should all be lynched.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by Mamatus

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)

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 05:08 PM
The whole inference of this is basically "Toe the party line" or you will be destroyed. This is plain thuggery and intimidation tactics by the Feds.

I hope he brings up a mirror site in another country just to spite these SOB's. Right next to Wikileaks. If he did that though he's probably have a Hastingsesqe type of car accident.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 05:45 PM
reply to post by GrantedBail

They should all be lynched.


The Media for not reporting the spying?
The Bureaucrats who do the spying?
The Politicians who over see the Bureaucrats?


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