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

Smartphones and Internet may be putting your child's mental health in jeopardy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil

The number of young people being admitted for mental treatments since 2010 has rapidly increased. Julie Lynn Evans, a psychotherapist for over 25 years now, is grateful for the additional funding being sent into mental health services, but she believes the dilemma ... continue reading


Stealth fighter jets in U.S. set to get massive upgrades Watch

Image of Pentagon officials have stressed the importance of developing the new long-range strike bomber calling it critical to national security and nuclear deterrence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mainstay of United States military defense, stealth bombers have been around since the Seventies. The Air Force's aging fleet is now ready for an expensive makeover. The Pentagon intends to develop a high-priority, super-classified, next-generation bomber. ... continue reading


Will you say 'hello' to Barbie? Mattel's new Barbie doll is 'creeping out' parents, raising concerns of privacy Watch

Image of Hello Barbie will allow its owner to carry on a conversation through recorded audio and WiFi.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classic toy doll, Barbie, has been reinvented after the makers, Mattel received numerous requests for a Barbie doll that kids can talk to, according to a spokesperson of the toy company. Mattel's response is WiFi connected "Hello Barbie" that comes with an installed ... continue reading


Scientists find way to eliminate inherited diseases with genetically modified human eggs Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New gene-editing techniques are being improved and could soon eliminate inherited diseases from future generations by modifying the DNA of human egg cells. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although the idea of editing chromosomes in human eggs or sperm is feared, ... continue reading


Hidden spy cameras discovered at United States post office, installation confirmed by USPIS Watch

Image of freerepublic.com

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden camera disappeared just after an hour of being discovered at a Denver local post office, Fox31 Denver reported. People became alarmed that they are being watched as they drop-off their mails with the possibility of the camera collecting their facial features ... continue reading


Your selfie can now be seen by millions: Charity campaign puts selfies on billboards for donations Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By participating in the Ultimate Selfie Campaign (#ultimateselfiecampaign), people can now have millions of people across the United States see their selfie or favorite photo on digital billboards, while helping charities with a $25 donation. The project was an ... continue reading


BIG, BIG things predicated on Apple's 'Smartwatch' Watch

Image of A solid gold version aimed at the very rich will tarnish a brand that promises

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Apple remains unusually successful, there are already naysayers lining up to predict that the company's forthcoming "Smartwatch" will be a flop. Many details about the new gadget remain under wraps. Questions remain about the watch's price, the battery ... continue reading


Let there be light: New urine-powered light bulbs bring light to refugee camps Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Pee Power" is what the people are calling this strange innovation. British students and researchers, from the University of the West of England and the OxFam global aid agency, have invented a mode in which light bulbs can be powered by urine. The University has ... continue reading


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


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 20:10-13
10 I heard so many disparaging me, 'Terror on every ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:31-42
31 The Jews fetched stones to stone him,32 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 27th, 2015 Image

St. Rupert
March 27: Bishop and missionary, also listed as Robert of Hrodbert. 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