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Lavabit, email service Snowden reportedly used, abruptly shuts down

My Fellow Users,

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 ...

Continues: http://boingboing.net/2013/08/08/lavabit-email-service-snowd...



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Owner of Snowden's Email Service on Why

Owner of Snowden's Email Service on Why He Closed Lavabit Rather Than Comply With Gov't

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIT79nSJ3T0

Time to offshore the service

Follow the online gambling industry and find a friendly haven to do business...

"One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas" Victor Hugo

Garan's picture

Yet Another Dis-Incentive to do Business in U.S.A

I wonder how difficult it is to run a server and company in a remote country and what ways the U.S.A. federal government can still try to wrangle privacy and control away.

The good news is that if the NSA has to stoop to the level of forcing companies to cooperate, then they probably can't already get at the information. In other words, current encryption technology must still be effective.

I sort-of feel sorry for the poor souls that must compromise their principles; cooperating with the U.S.A federal government; acting against the poor soul's own customers.

Well, That Sucks

I caught this article yesterday and was disappointed to say the least. Anywhere that is "safe" is going to eventually see it's demise. It's the beginning of the end, for sure. In hindsight, I wish I had studied cryptography instead of electrical engineering, I feel powerless against my own country.

I didn't use Lavabit, but I do support them. There's a link to donate to their legal defense fund on their site (lavabit.com). If you see it in your heart to help them out, as they're one of the few who would stand up to Goliath, I think they deserve what you can give.

Cyril's picture

Once upon a time... The Wolf and The Lamb, by ÆSOP

Once upon a time... The Wolf and The Lamb, by ÆSOP

http://www.dailypaul.com/287232

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Of all people, Edward Snowden

knows what his limitations are, and he has, no doubt, thought of his own get-arounds for them, and also, I'm positive the information he has that is so inflammatory, is safely home to the people, or string of people who have it.

They must monitor and change things/locations constantly for their data. The NSA knows they are dealing with an IT elite. This is not a game. But, Snowden has anticipated the problems, or he wouldn't have risked his life. He had to know they would try every means they could. He had to have known this.

No, there is no way I'd risk my life unless I knew my information was totally safe, and I doubt the CIA is even looking in the right places for that.

Now....the CIA & the White House are SO ULTRA PARANOID, they are panic-stricken to the point they don't even have a clue where all the material could be in this world-wide universe.

what's that one

That's advertised in the NRA magazine?

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

Integrity. If everybody

Integrity. If everybody exhibits it like Mr. Levison, we will win this bitchin war!

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

GMX Email service good?

you don't hear about them being used for spying or there emails being read?

Holy crap!

This is a big deal. Finally a company, when receiving an NSL, had the integrity to say no and stick by his principles.

So this begs the question, which country in the world outside the US has the most Internet freedom? Investing in data center space there seems like a pretty lucrative opportunity. Anyone interested?

Makes no difference if the NSA

Is sniffing all the major backbone peering points.

fill a cabinet with TOR exit nodes

Fill a cabinet with TOR exit nodes, VPN endpoints, and trunk encrypt every fucking thing. To top it off, throw a bunch of VPN gateways in other countries like switzerland, Ecuador, Estonia, etc, that trunk back to the freedom data center.

They can sniff all they like, all they get is beautifully random static.

Encrypt all you like, the NSA

Encrypt all you like, the NSA has a quantum computer and can decrypt all your communications.

Not likely

Not likely. Just because they are the NSA doesn't mean they get to break the laws of physics. Quantum isn't ready for really anything at this point. There was a time when .gov had the lead on technological innovation. Now they don't even know how to repair their own nuclear weapons. They've started a academic outreach program for that specifically.

They're evil, but not magical, or ubergeniuses.

This just isn't true.The NSA

This just isn't true. The laws of physics *are* quantum. The NSA is just using that fact to factor big numbers.

The NSA has had quantum computing for years.

On the market, right now, DWAVE sells a 512 qubit quantum computer. www.dwavesys.com

The NSA can just buy as many as they like (with your money) and basically break all factoring based encryption in order to secretly spy on the American people in their egregious violation of the 4th amendment.

It has been a long time since I was in quantum complexity theory class, but I think you just need 512 qubits for a 512 bit encryption method based on factoring.

For your reading pleasure:

Quantum Computing: Hype Vs. Reality:

http://emergentchaos.com/archives/2008/03/quantum_progress.html

"To factor a 4096-bit number, you need 72*4096^3 or 4,947,802,324,992 quantum gates. Lets just round that up to an even 5 trillion. Five trillion is a big number. We're only now getting to the point that we can put about that many normal bits on a disk drive. The first thing this tells me is that we aren't going to wake up one day and find out that someone's put that many q-gates on something you can buy from Fry's from a white-box Taiwanese special."

Here's another:
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/02/why_is_quantu...

Thanks for your post. A

Thanks for your post.

A quantum gate is different from a qubit. In fact, making a circuit of quantum gates can be automated and optimized using things like the "cosine sine decomposition" of the unitary matrices which perform the work. The limit here is not the number of gates, but the number of qubits. And, what I know about all of this tells me that the formula they use for the number of gates is way overblown. I've drawn the actual circuit for the Schor algorithm and it isn't nearly as big as that "emergentchaos" article is saying. There are all kinds of tricks that can be done to build a circuit with fewer gates, but the quote is way off.

Nevertheless, just because you have found a couple of naysayers, does not mean it isn't happening. Without a doubt, the NSA has a quantum computer. Moreover, the DWAVE quantum computer (with 512 qubits), has been independently verified. Google has one. NASA has one. Stanford has one. You better believe that the NSA has had one for much longer and has several up and running now.

I don't know if BQP is actually bigger than BPP, but for factoring, quantum computers work better than any known classical algorithm. Maybe we are doing big numbers, maybe we aren't.

If you want to get into this stuff, check out Nielson and Chuang's book.

And thanks for your post, it led me to this cool video; which I claim does not invalidate quantum computing, but is very interesting indeed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmC0ygr08tE

I'm no expert

But I thought that if you have the right encryption, then the NSA actually would need either
(a) backdoor access to the email servers or
(b) the encryption key

in order to read the emails. So if the email servers & company are located outside of the US, they can tell the NSA to eff off and there's nothing they can do about it...

Any cryptography experts care to weigh in?

Quantum computers make public

Quantum computers make public key cryptography based on factoring obsolete.

Quantum Computers: Hype vs. Reality

Quantum Computing: Hype Vs. Reality:

http://emergentchaos.com/archives/2008/03/quantum_progress.html

"To factor a 4096-bit number, you need 72*4096^3 or 4,947,802,324,992 quantum gates. Lets just round that up to an even 5 trillion. Five trillion is a big number. We're only now getting to the point that we can put about that many normal bits on a disk drive. The first thing this tells me is that we aren't going to wake up one day and find out that someone's put that many q-gates on something you can buy from Fry's from a white-box Taiwanese special."

The number of gates here is

The number of gates here is not accurate. I have implemented it on paper and it isn't anywhere near 5 trillion gates.

Moreover, qubits are hard to scale, not gates.

Do we actually have quantum computers

outside of some university lab that can only compute two qubits at a time?

In other words, is the NSA 20 years ahead of the entire semiconductor industry to the point where they have fully functioning quantum computers that are on par with the computing power of today's commercial silicon chips?

I honestly don't know, but it seems implausible...

dwavesys.com512 qubits.

http://www.dwavesys.com

512 qubits. Believe it.

It appears as if quantum computing is somehow more powerful than classical computing; so you might not be able to make meaningful comparisons in terms of "transistors."

Thanks for the link

I was not familiar with D Wave; very interesting stuff.

However, after doing some research on D Wave, there appear to be some serious questions as to whether they are running a "true" quantum computer or not.

Here's the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Wave_Systems

First, here's the technology description:

"The processor is designed to implement a special-purpose adiabatic quantum optimization algorithm[12][13] or quantum annealing[14] as opposed to being operated as a universal gate-model quantum computer."

Additionally, unlike the 2-qubit or 4-qubit quantum computers created in University labs in the past couple of years, D-Wave's computers are constructed in a very different manner. In fact, everything about the manufacturing as well as the mechanics of their computers are very proprietary, so hard to say exactly what they are running.

I guess the true constructions doesn't matter as much as the output (performance). It looks like at first, D-Wave's system demonstrated the ability to solve certain mathematical problems up to 3600x faster than a regular desktop PC. This would indicate a huge advancement. However, researchers were then able to install certain software on a standard PC to match or even exceed D-Wave's performances; it turns out that simply applying the right algorithm (software solution) can drastically speed up mathematical solutions of a certain type.

So there are lingering questions as to how "true" of a quantum computer D-Wave is really running, or whether they have some sort of hybrid quantim / digial computer that's simply optimized in terms of software to solve the type of mathematical problems that quantum computers are supposed to excel at.

Either way, it doesn't look like anything has been done on either D-Wave's systems or anyone else's that can actually exceed the performance of today's standard PCs in terms of application.

But it may, at least, indicate that quantum computing is closer than we think.

Also, this

See the link here for a skeptical view on D-Wave's claims.

http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1400

Yeah but it was recently

Yeah but it was recently independently verified by scientists. Don't have the story handy, but if you look at the recent news you will see that it is accepted as a true quantum computer now. Well, a true "adiabatic" quantum computer. Things are progressing otherwise with other research groups and their "super conducting qubits."

Scott Aaronson is no slouch though (he used to run the complexity zoo, check it out online), but I have become more confident after these recent independent tests.

Cyril's picture

Quantum computers? Very unlikely, I'd say

Quantum computers? If these idiots were ready to implement in that paradigm, it's very unlikely they'd need to steal, spend, waste that much money to build that much surveillance crap in Utah, then.

Clues:

http://www.dailypaul.com/295008/daniel-bernstein-on-nsas-uta...

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Plus the cost and resources

Required to develop and manufacture on a large scale that type of advanced technology would be very difficult to hide.

You'd basically need an Intel's or Samsung's worth of engineers (tens of thousands) out in the middle of nowhere, all specialized in quantum computing design. That kind of talent pool doesn't exist in the world, and if it did, such a large hub would be very obvious.

This talent pool definitely

This talent pool definitely exists, it just isn't as visible as a big mac.

NSA employs many teams exploring and implementing quantum computing. This is a fact.

Cyril's picture

I hear you

I hear you, but I was merely alluding to what a paradigm shift worth of the name itself means, once actually accomplished.

We can just keep in mind that the paradigm shift from lamps of the early 50s to the chipsets of, say, the late 80s alone, already meant that the computing power that would require a huge room and half a dozen scientists and technicians to operate, ended up fitting in the jacket pocket of a teenager, hardware-, code-, cost-, and user skills-wise.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius