US Government Surveillance of E-Mails - New proxy technology?


Staff member
I found this thought provoking YouTube Video which is an interview with Ladar Levison, founder of Lavabit, a US email provider. The US Federal Government compelled Ladar more than a year ago to provide them with his SSL keys which would allow the FBI access to all messages on Lavabit's server. Levison was unwilling to sacrifice the privacy of Lavabit's 400,000 users and chose to shut down Lavabit instead.

I've been worried about not only Governments' but particularly large mega corporations like Hotmail, Google, Facebook and others gaining access to our personal information, without us even being aware of this. And have been hoping and wishing for developers to come forward with new proxy technology that would safeguard users' privacy. And what gives me hope now is that Ladar Levison thinks that will be happening. Internet users will be demanding more secure e-mail services and there are developers working on this.


Published on Feb 28, 2014

"Let me put it this way: If one year from now, you're not using Dark Mail, it's because you enjoy knowing the NSA is reading your emails," says Ladar Levison, founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

After Snowden's identity became known, Levison shut down Lavabit, posting the following message on the company website: 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.

Levison was prohibited from discussing any details of the case until last October, when the court unsealed a portion of the documents. The unsealed records reveal that the FBI was demanding access to Lavabit's Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) keys, which would essentially allow the agency access to all messages on Lavabit's server. While the FBI was ostensibly targeting only a single user, Levison was unwilling to sacrifice the privacy of his other 400,000+ users.

He is still not allowed to discuss the identity of the user the FBI hoped to target.

Levison sat down with Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller at the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) conference to talk more about his decision to fight the federal government, his thoughts on Edward Snowden, and his vision for Dark Mail, a collaborative effort with Silent Circle, another encrypted email service that shut down in the wake of Snowden's NSA revelations.
If any body were to read any emails of mine they would be very very sorry they did so for they would most assuredly die of brain rotting boredom. :lol:


Staff member
Haha Briar .... they'd get lost in all of mine!

As far as I know however they use bots that search on key words. OR may target specific individuals that they are suspicious off.
Ah yes, well the most I tend to get are spam emails, especially this guy who is always trying to get to me to pay him to create a forum skin for me, oddly I am a skin designer or was, just don't feel the urge to do it any longer, strange world at times isn't it.

With regards to any political or law enforcement agency reading my email, like my Da' use to say "if you've nothing to hide lad you've nothing to worry about", I know a lot of folk are really worried about privacy but I just can't seem to bring myself to worry about it. :drinks:


New member
Disclaimer: I am from the USA, so what I say below may not apply to all countries.

I can understand the premise for "if you have nothing to hide, then why care?" . That being said,I strongly disagree with that sentiment. The problem, is that the government (who is already not trustworthy) has no business spying on me. I have done nothing wrong, so why treat me like a criminal? Just because I (right now) may not hold political views that the government deems "dangerous", doesn't mean that whoever is in power might not change their mind. It could be because of my political views, or it could be because I am a gun carrying, bald, white, tattooed redneck. It doesn't matter.

Thanks to George Bush Jr (a major idiot) the Patriot act was passed which allows just this. It allows anyone considered a "terrorist" to be held outside of the laws of the constitution. However, it left the definition of a "terrorist" up for open interpretation. I do have the right to privacy. I have committed no crimes. They have no need, nor the right to look over my shoulder at everything I do. Also, according to the Constitution of the US, I am a free person.. which means I can make my own choices, not what the government decides for me. There was never supposed to be a "nanny" state. In fact, according to the way the US was set up, the Federal Government has NO rights to even deal with the individual. It is each individual State's job to make laws that govern the individual. The Federal government is supposed to make sure the States play nice together and to allow for a united defense against foreign invaders.

Yes, this issue makes my blood boil. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up freedom for security deserve neither freedom, nor security." My family has been in the US since the beginning and fought in every war, shed blood in every war, and will probably do so in the future. They sacrificed for the freedom we are supposed to have. I, personally, will not disrespect that sacrifice by letting the Government take away the rights that so many have sacrificed for.

If this offends you, well, I cannot apologize for my beliefs. I hope that any language I have used has not caused offence, and if so, then I apologize for my wording.

Blessings and Peace upon you all.