Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

implementing 4th Amendment

USofA Constitution, Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Of course these protections are long gone. (Sorry Ben)

Warrantless searches of homes, often by violent teams of men above the law number in the thousands every year, and continue to rise.

Heavily armed checkpoints on public roads are regularly set up with forced medical investigation of bodies as well as searches of travelers’ vehicles.

Phone calls and correspondence are nearly 100% stored on government computers, to be searched on the whims of state workers and private contractors … without warrants, need to know, probable cause, or any other civil niceties.

It is this latter instance that private providers address with computer encryption.

Edward Snowden famously, courageously exposed criminal activity of our federal government, in part through the use of encrypted e-mail provided by Lavabit.

The Feds, in their unlimited zeal to silence the exposure of their crimes ordered Lavabit to set Snowden and anyone he worked with up for persecution by revealing the contents of his encrypted e-mails.

Ladar Levison is a hero. A real one, not some celebrity or mere survivor, but someone who sacrificed something very significant for liberty and honor. He shuttered his successful company rather than violating the 4th Amendment by complying with the feds unlawful orders.

The feds ordered him to give up the keys. He blew the whole thing up instead. And walked away with his honor and integrity intact.

They should thank him for keeping them from feloniously wallowing in the gutter.

Anyway, that was three years ago. Now Ladar and company are back. Their new trick is fed-proof.

They built and offer to the public an encryption system that does not keep the keys.

If they are ordered to give up their customers, their completely honest answer is, “We have no access to their encryption keys. So sorry, we cannot help you.”

I, probably like you, have no screaming desire nor perceived need to have my e-mails encrypted.

But that is where we are both wrong.

We need to use encrypted e-mail in order that the criminals in NSA and other violators of The Constitution have plenty of work to keep themselves busy [chasing their tails].

Generation Two of Lavabit is being crowd funded. That means you and I can sign up for discounted futures in the use of this software to help finance the final developments and introduction.

The base level is only fifteen bucks. Even if you never use it, that is a paltry sum to pay for your part in preservation of that little corner of liberty.

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A lot of the information for this article came from engadget.com. Their article on the subject is WELL WORTH READING. Click on the link and go check it out. You will probably have to use their magnifying-glass search feature for “Lavabit”. I could not seem to link to the page itself.

Below it the front page of the Lavabit.com website. I re-publish it here to give you a sense for the integrity of the project.

Go there.

Support them.

For us.

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January 20th, 2017

Fellow Citizens & Lavabit Users,

Today is Inauguration Day in the United States, the day we enact one of our most sacred democratic traditions, the peaceful transition of power. Regardless of one’s political disposition, today we acknowledge our shared values of Freedom, Justice, and Liberty as secured by our Constitution. This is the reason why I’ve chosen today to relaunch Lavabit.

In August 2013, I was forced to make a difficult decision: violate the rights of the American people and my global customers or shut down. I chose Freedom. Much has changed since my decision, but unfortunately much has not in our post-Snowden world. Email continues to be the heart of our cyber-identities, but as evidenced by recent jaw-dropping headlines it remains insecure, unreliable, and easily readable by an attacker.

Today, we start a new freedom journey and inaugurate the next-generation of email privacy and security. In 2014, with Kickstarter funding, I started the development of the Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME), a revolutionary end-to-end encrypted global standard and Magma, its associated DIME capable free and open source mail server. Today, I am proud to announce that we are releasing DIME and Magma to the world. DIME provides multiple modes of security (Trustful, Cautious, & Paranoid) and is radically different from any other encrypted platform, solving security problems others neglect. DIME is the only automated, federated, encryption standard designed to work with different service providers while minimizing the leakage of metadata without a centralized authority. DIME is end-to-end secure, yet flexible enough to allow users to continue using their email without a Ph.D. in cryptology.

Former Lavabit users will be able to access their accounts in “Trustful” mode and update their credentials to the new DIME standard. Anyone who wants a future Lavabit account can pre-register for our next release available in all security modes. Anyone can access our free, open source library, and associated command line tools capable of creating, and handling the new DIME standard. Anyone with a domain can deploy Magma or implement their own encrypted DIME compatible server. These are just the first steps of many as our implicit goals are to build the graphical clients for Windows, Mac OS X/iOS, and Linux/Android and help others implement this new technology.

Today, the democratic power we transfer to keep identities safe is our own. With your continued patronage, we will restore privacy and make end-to-end encryption an automatic, ubiquitous and open source reality.

In Freedom, Liberty & Justice…

Ladar Levison
Owner and Operator
Lavabit LLC