And then there were two. Lavabit is shutting down, citing Lavabit owner Ladar Levison’s admission that since he shut down Lavabit he’s stopped using email altogether and if we knew what he did, we’d stop using it to, as the main reason. Levison’s implication is that if you’re using a free webmail service, you can believe that the NSA has a backdoor and can look at any of your emails anytime they want.
Groklaw’s owner Pamela Jones says that she can’t run the site without email and the knowledge that she’d be putting her sources and contacts at risk is more than she can bear.
What to do? I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure it out. And the conclusion I’ve reached is that there is no way to continue doing Groklaw, not long term, which is incredibly sad. But it’s good to be realistic. And the simple truth is, no matter how good the motives might be for collecting and screening everything we say to one another, and no matter how “clean” we all are ourselves from the standpoint of the screeners, I don’t know how to function in such an atmosphere. I don’t know how to do Groklaw like this…
…I feel like that now, knowing that persons I don’t know can paw through all my thoughts and hopes and plans in my emails with you.
They tell us that if you send or receive an email from outside the US, it will be read. If it’s encrypted, they keep it for five years, presumably in the hopes of tech advancing to be able to decrypt it against your will and without your knowledge. Groklaw has readers all over the world.
I’m not a political person, by choice, and I must say, researching the latest developments convinced me of one thing — I am right to avoid it. There is a scripture that says, It doesn’t belong to man even to direct his step. And it’s true. I see now clearly that it’s true. Humans are just human, and we don’t know what to do in our own lives half the time, let alone how to govern other humans successfully. And it shows. What form of government hasn’t been tried? None of them satisfy everyone. So I think we did that experiment. I don’t expect great improvement.