Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/19/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Lavabit ceases operations in lieu of being 'complicit in crimes against the American people'

Fearing that their users' privacy would be compromised - two super-secret email services, Lavabit and Secret Circle have shut down their operations, taking their customers' email conversations with them. Both providers say they fear interference from the National Security Administration.

Essentially, setting up an individual secure email server and client is doable -- but not for the average person.

Essentially, setting up an individual secure email server and client is doable -- but not for the average person.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/19/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Lavabit, Secret Circle, email, privacy, encryption


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mike Janke, CEO of Silent Circle, was adamant that the gesture was a necessary one. "There are far too many leaks of information and metadata intrinsically in the e-mail protocols themselves." Janke noted that Silent Circles' customers included people in companies and government agencies with secrets to protect.

"It doesn't matter what you try to do with e-mail, there are these inherent weaknesses. So we got rid of Silent Mail [the company's e-mail service]. We deleted all of it, burned it, and threw it in the ocean with locks and chains on it. People lost all their e-mail, but the response went from 'Why would you do this?' to 'Thanks for doing this.'" 

Lavabit founder Ladar Levison also added to the growing chorus of privacy concerns. "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," Levison said.

In the meantime, Silent Circle's remaining services include secure phone, video and text facilities, largely aimed at enterprise mobile users, which has full end-to-end encryption. Unless someone has managed to break this - while not impossible, these are genuinely secure services that leave no traces for the FBI or NSA to requisition. The authorities can't even go after the encryption keys, because these are stored on the users' devices.

Silent Circle remains in business, because fewer than five percent of its customers were using the now-deleted mail service.

Others point to the fact that there cannot be truly private email. Silent Circle founder Phil Zimmermann, the guy who created the widely-used Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) wrote in a BlogSpot: "Email that uses standard Internet protocols cannot have the same security guarantees that real-time communications has. There are far too many leaks of information and metadata intrinsically in the email protocols themselves.

"Email as we know it with SMTP, POP3, and IMAP cannot be secure. And yet, many people wanted it . Today, another secure email provider, Lavabit, shut down their system lest they 'be complicit in crimes against the American people.' We see the writing on the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail now."

Silent Circle was concerned that the authorities would get their hands on users' email metadata, informing them who was emailing who and when, along with other tagging information.

Essentially, setting up an individual secure email server and client is doable -- but not for the average person. Hosted email is far more convenient, but that means finding a jurisdiction where authorities don't try to demand access to data or metadata.

Analysts point out that he closure of two "ultra-private" e-mail services shows just how weak the system really is.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More Technology

Zombie Apocalypse: Safest plan is to 'head for the hills,' according to experts Watch

Image of In the event of a zombie apocalypse, cities would fall quickly. However, it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the event the dead return to life and begin to cannibalize the living, turning them into hordes of the shuffling undead, theoretically - there would be few options. Researchers at Cornell University offer a practical bit of advice should this happen - head ... continue reading


12 billion times size of our sun; scientists spot massive black hole Watch

Image of Researchers led by teams from China's Peking University and the University of Arizona both say the newly discovered black hole is six times larger than its biggest known contemporaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Chinese researchers have spotted a super massive black hole. Scientists say the heavenly body is 12 billion times the size of the sun. They theorize it formed around 900 million years after the Big Bang. The black hole, named SDSS J010013.02 is larger than any ... continue reading


Apple's 'Project Titan' shaking up U.S. automotive market Watch

Image of Excitement over Apple's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a market sometimes dictated by fad or fancy, Apple's announcement to hurry an electric car into production in a few short years - called "Project Titan," has inspired widespread consumer excitement. While auto companies typically take seven years to develop a ... continue reading


Bringing 'kid friendly' content to mobile users, YouTube releases new app 'YouTube Kids' Watch

Image of Intended for Smartphones and tablets, YouTube Kids will feature original content from DreamWorks TV, Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends and more.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the Internet is usually seen as providing inappropriate content for the young, YouTube will be bringing "kid friendly" content via its new app, YouTube Kids. The app will be available free on Android devices - only on February 23. There is no word yet on iOS ... continue reading


Going for it: Apple vows to have electric car out by 2020 Watch

Image of Apple's proposed electric car, the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000 is a goal shared by at least three major companies. Both Tesla Motors and General Motors vow to have such a car available by the year 2017. Apple has now since ... continue reading


Keep your eyes open; Sony 'smart specs' get going as Google rethinks Glass Watch

Image of Sony's specs lack a certain

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sony is forging ahead with its own version of Google Glass - spectacles that are tuned into the Internet, in spite of Google Glass being sent back for revamping. Computer giant Apple remains firm that the wrist is the right place for a wearable computer. Sony ... continue reading


New tool on Facebook will maintain your page - AFTER YOU DIE! Watch

Image of The Legacy Contact will be able to close down your profile, keep it frozen as a memorial, or leave it as it is.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How we will be remembered in cyberspace after we pass on is usually down low - way, way down on our list of priorities. Stepping up to the plate, Facebook - the preeminent social networking Web site, has created an app that will inform your friends that you are ... continue reading


CYBER WARFARE: Utah suffering 300 million attacks daily, possibly due to National Security Agency Watch

Image of Any time Utah finds itself in controversy, cyber attacks seem to increase.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the State of Utah is home to the new, secretive National Security Agency computer center, one that whistle-blower Edward Snowden informed to the world, hackers now think they can somehow get to it through state computer systems. This has led to the State of ... continue reading


Computer giant Apple wants to revolutionize TV - but world hesitates Watch

Image of Apple CEO Tim Cook said TV was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Computer revolutionaries Apple want to extend their hands in to the cable TV business - but many players remains hesitant. A set-top box on screens seems to have been met with a cool reception with many cable TV companies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Why is Apple staying mum on mysterious van with strange apparatus? Watch

Image of Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mysterious vehicle spotted on the streets of Concord, California is drawing attention. It's a dark blue minivan with several cameras attached to its roof. Nobody in the Northern Californian city knows what it is doing there. The only thing anyone has been ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:18-20
18 'Come on,' they said, 'let us concoct a plot ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
5 to your hands I commit my spirit, by you have I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:17-28
17 Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 4th, 2015 Image

St. Casimir
March 4: Casimir grew up in a world where his life was not his own. As a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter