How To Talk About The Government Investigating You When You Can't Legally Talk About the Government Investigating You

Friday, October 04, 2013 - 01:36 PM

Yesterday, we talked about Lavabit, the privacy-first email system used by Edward Snowden. Lavabit's owner, Ladar Levison, shut the service down rather than complying with an government request to provide access to his users' emails. Our friends at New Tech City interviewed Ladar last week, while he was still legally prohibited from talking about his fight with the government. 

So instead, he discussed the case as best as he could. Lots of hypotheticals. Lots of very pregnant pauses.

Alex Goldmark: So you don't think [your legal trouble] had anything to do with Edward Snowden?

Lavar Levison: [Excruciatingly long pause] I don't think.. [shorter pause].. I don't know. I'll go with that. 



In retrospect, it's pretty interesting to watch Levison try to navigate between being as honest as he can while simultaneously not getting himself in legal hot water. 

Also, New Tech City's doing a full show on privacy next week, which, for obvious reasons, we're pretty stoked on. 



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Comments [3]

Dan from Portlandia

Rich is mistaken on two points - first the "Patriot" Act allows the FBI to issue gag orders without review and second, God loves us all - Americans and non-Americans alike.

Oct. 09 2013 05:25 PM
Rich from New (God loves America) Jersey

Please don't scare monger. If you knew the government was investigating you, you are legally allowed to assert your rights under the constitution. If the government tries to impose a gag order, they must (under ANY court of law) be able to prove that it is a danger to society, etc. Even then things are sketchy at best. Find a good lawyer, and he'll take the case pro bono just to give the government the finger. I think the whole lavabit thing is bullshit. I've never heard of lavabit, now suddenly everyone is talking about them. They are claiming the big bad government is harassing them, yet the government has said very little, if anything. If the government came to me and harassed me about my users (and yes, i have users), the FIRST thing i would have done is contacted CNN, CNBC, etc. regardless of gag orders, etc. Let them fight me in court! The constitution is greater than the NSA.

Oct. 09 2013 01:19 AM
CaptiveAudience from Phoenix

Nobody that lives in a free country should be in this situation. Our government's abuse of power has run amok. Unfortunately for us the people that are supposed to represent us don't have a clue. They're looking out for number one but they're so stupid they can't see that eventually, even number 1 is going to be wallowing in number 2.

Oct. 07 2013 08:40 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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