It was a heck of a principled thing Levison did, and a gutsy one, shutting down a service with 400,000 paying (including about 10k paying; correction from Steve in comments) customers rather than betray those who trusted him.
We already knew that. What we didn’t know (among other things) was how he handled the fed demand when he was finally forced into a corner after a hard fight:
The judge also rejected Lavabit’s motion to unseal the record. “This is an ongoing criminal investigation, and there’s no leeway to disclose any information about it.”
In an interesting work-around, Levison complied the next day by turning over the private SSL keys as an 11 page printout in 4-point type. The government, not unreasonably, called the printout “illegible.”
“To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data,” prosecutors wrote.
Carl Bussjaeger, who sent the Wired link, says, “Life imitates Art.”
From Carl’s novel Net Assets (Page 127. Scene: Feds have subpoenaed the Launcher Company’s financial records. The company complies, but in the interest of security, have encrypted the files.):
“Oh, yeah,” Neville said, once reminded of the encryption aspect of this charade. “You have that crypto key with you? Eventually, they’re bound t’ think of gettin’ an order for that. Might as well have it ready.”
Leroy slipped a large folded envelope from a rear pocket. “Here you go. Two hundred kilobit ASCII, printed out in 6 point Staccato font, bold face and italic, guaranteed OCR unreadable and to induce terminal eyestrain in the first ten people trying to enter it manually.”
I hope Levison can eventually reopen Lavabit in some freer country. Now, there’s a man who has earned the trust people gave him.
Anybody who’s ever met me or anybody who knows my famous camera-shyness knows that ain’t me.
There’s another woman out there who shares my name and does some public speaking in her professional specialty (nursing, I think). She’s probably long rued her accidental Google connections with me. My first thought was, What? Is Google now just grabbing photos of any old Claire Wolfe and pairing them with me? I figured that was probably a photo of poor Nurse Wolfe, who would no doubt now have even more reason to hope I get cooties and die.
Then Jim pointed out what media-avoiding me missed: that’s not a photo of any Claire Wolfe. Not Outlaw Wolfe. Not Nurse Wolfe. No. It’s Nazgul Sonia Sotomayor.
Now, much though I’d love to know how Google’s magical algorithm came up with that astoundingly inept connection, I’m wondering even more if it might be a useful bit of misdirection.
Hm. If “they” decide to ship us all off to camps, will they maybe toss Sonia in the boxcar instead of me? If they come to my house bearing Google images to ID the “domestic terrorists,” will they notice that I don’t have chipmunk cheeks or dyed black hair, say, “Sorry, M’am” and move on?
You tell me. Just plain creepy? Or creepy but potentially useful?
Or maybe just worth a few LOLs?
* (If you can’t see what I’m chuffed about I think you can click the image to “embiggen” as Joel would say. On my system, I have to click twice; once to get a thumbnail, then once to embiggenate.)
Monkeywrenching seems sadly neglected these days. Do a search on the word and you’ll mostly turn up references to Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang or various acts eco-defense (or eco-terrorism, depending on who’s writing about it).
Since the Homeland (Achtung!) Security State has gotten us in its grip, it seems the peasants are afraid to toss their sabots into the machinery of tyranny. Then, too, things are different in a non-industrial society. You could say that Anonymous is a champion of monkeywrenching — just on a technological level.
Monkeywrenching, in one form or another will always have a place in the eternal struggle of the small and free against the big and unfree. But it seems a neglected art at the moment. So the question for today is: What are some great monkeywrenching ideas and/or resources for Freedom Outlaws of the twenty-first century?
And remember, keep it theoretical. The management of the Living Freedom blog doesn’t endorse any particular forms of crime, even while recognizing that three felonies a day is something most of us accomplish before finishing off our morning Rice Krispies.
I also invite everybody to keep visiting and participating in the continuing story of “Tansy Shrugged,” which is wandering off in strange new directions via the comment section.
You know, it takes a lot more brainpower to write long, thoughtful, personal posts than it does to toss out a little news (maybe accompanied by a bit of snark or righteous indignation). So while I continue working on the “Perspective” Blog Tome, news (and one really good laugh) it is for today.
This pertains to yesterday’s “Perspective” blog. Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project defines four types of personal energy and notes that contemplation (which includes decision-making and other inner-directed things) requires the highest form.
“‘Pirate Bay’ for 3D printing launched.” Not sure how this will affect Greylock’s UDT-1A Project. (Care to comment, Mark?) Sure seems like good news for the world, though. Now the big question is: How long before the fedgov finds a way to do a Bradley Manning or an Aaron Swartz on bold innovator Cody Wilson?
Now for the hilarity. This isn’t new, either. But if it doesn’t give you a belly laugh even after repeated viewings, check your pulse because you must be dead.
(Source for those who can’t see the embed. Tip o’ hat to L.)
just waiting also sent me .jpg copies (thank you), from which come the stark Nick Bougas artwork up there at the top.
The article gets off to a good start. Did you know that the old faux folk song “Sixteen Tons” got its original writer/performer branded a “commie sympathizer”? Just for writing a fable that didn’t speak highly of laboring for a boss? Oh well.
I had fun re-reading it and hope you do, too.
Then the Memory Express rolled on and led me to similar writings from the same time:
I can’t think of a single legitimate reason to impose blanket blackouts like that based on location (language in the patent to the contrary).
Lots of illegitimate ones, though. Halt recording at protests or public meetings. Or at cop checkpoints. Keep protestors from coordinating with each other on the spot.
Not clear at the moment whether Apple plans to do this only on iPhones (one more reason not to have a smartphone). But no matter what the plans, if such a tech ever actually gets into popular use … well, we will have some monkeywrenching to do, won’t we?