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Lavabit Founder Ladar Levison explains why he suddenly shut his secure email service down forever: the FBI had demanded the secret keys to his customers' secured emails, and he wasn't even allowed to talk about it!
Perhaps the most horrifying feature of today's US surveillance culture is the government's ability to forbid any public discussion by holders of private confidential data who've been ordered to turn over that data. Close in rank to this would be the outrageous serpentine rules that make challenging such orders nearly impossible. In this context, Ladar Levison stands out as a victim who fought back on behalf of the paying customers of Lavabit, his unique secure email service. (It has been suggested that Lavabit was Edward Snowden's email provider.)
At a remarkable event 11-26-2013 at Harvard U, Levison recounted his frightening story and invited audience questions - and there were plenty!
With virtually no chance of holding back the FBI's demand for the secret codes protecting his customers' current and stored emails - no lawyers who understood any of this even for money, the only challenge venue 1000 miles away, and a $5000 per day clock running for noncompliance - Levison opted to shut Lavabit down completely, forever ... THEN release the lengthy secret code, in tiny printed form.
Not only that, but he made that thousand mile trek, and he finally found a lawyer, so there's a challenge currently in play of this unbelievably evil situation. By virtue of that challenge, he is now permitted to discuss some things - not all - in public. This recording is the fruit.
One of the more colorful commenters was acclaimed MIT-based hacker and free software activist Richard Stallman.
Harvard's video (which did not catch audience questions or comments) and recording by Stan Robinson on behalf of Truth and Justice Radio
Truth and Justice Radio airs and streams weekly, Sundays 6-10am EST, on WZBC 90.3FM (Boston area) and . Our own primitive website () has numerous links, including one to WZBC audio archives available for two weeks.