Looks like the privacy war continues to heat up. Though the NSA claims that they are not reading everyone’s mail, two secure online e-mail providers just shutdown citing pressure from the US government. Also Gen. Keith Alexander wants to replace NSA system administrators (like Snowden) with machines!
First Snowden’s e-mail provider Lavabit closed it’s doors:
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. 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.
What’s going to happen now? We’ve already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company.
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.
Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC
And now Silent Circle has announced that they too are shutting down:
However, we have reconsidered this position. We’ve been thinking about this for some time, whether it was a good idea at all. Today, another secure email provider, Lavabit, shut down their system lest they “be complicit in crimes against the American people.” We see the writing the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now. We have not received subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we are acting now.
Crazy stuff and the news just keep getting better. This morning, Foxnews announced that in an effort to reduce leaks, NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander wants to replace up to 90% of it’s systems administrators with… Machines.
“We trust people with data. At the end of the day it’s all about trust. If they misuse that trust, they can cause huge damage,” He said.
Misusing trust? Umm… Yeah, it’s like that…