About the Lavabit shut down, Edward Snowden and the General Mood of People in Germany
The privacy email provider Lavabit reportedly used by Edward Snowden shut down after its founder Ladar Levison announced “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.” and “”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,” wrote Levison. “As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.”.
It is possible that the closure is related to requests of the US goverment to get access to the server data of Edward Snowden and his contacts as he was a Lavabit user. Now Edward Snowden expressed his opinion about the Lavabit shut down and the Guardian quoted him:
“Ladar Levison and his team suspended the operations of their 10 year old business rather than violate the Constitutional rights of their roughly 400,000 users. The President, Congress, and the Courts have forgotten that the costs of bad policy are always borne by ordinary citizens, and it is our job to remind them that there are limits to what we will pay.
“America cannot succeed as a country where individuals like Mr. Levison have to relocate their businesses abroad to be successful. Employees and leaders at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren’t fighting for our interests the same way small businesses are. The defense they have offered to this point is that they were compelled by laws they do not agree with, but one day of downtime for the coalition of their services could achieve what a hundred Lavabits could not.
“When Congress returns to session in September, let us take note of whether the internet industry’s statements and lobbyists – which were invisible in the lead-up to the Conyers-Amash vote – emerge on the side of the Free Internet or the NSA and its Intelligence Committees in Congress.”
Guardian author Gleen GreenwaldAt says at the end of the Guardian article:
One of the most remarkable, and I think enduring, aspects of the NSA stories is how much open defiance there has been of the US government. Numerous countries around the world have waved away threats, from Hong Kong and Russia to multiple Latin American nations. Populations around the world are expressing serious indignation at the NSA and at their own government to the extent they have collaborated. And now Lavabit has shut itself down rather than participate in what it calls “crimes against the American people”, and in doing so, has gone to the legal limits in order to tell us all what has happened. There will undoubtedly be more acts inspired by Snowden’s initial choice to unravel his own life to make the world aware of what the US government has been doing in the dark.
In my opinion this is really true. All the news about Edward Snowden changed a lot. As I am from germany, I can tell you how it is here since Edward Snowden revealed what the USA and NSA are doing. There is a growing anti-americanism in germany in the actual decade as many think that the US government is warmongering a lot in the past and many think that it is like heavy imperialism or modern colonialism. But after all the Edward Snowden news, people got even more mad about the USA here in germany.
There are many people who call the USA a police state now. A lot do disagree if you would say that the USA is a free state. When I read german news and the comments there, it is like 95% do think so at the moment. Don´t get me wrong. I like all people from the world and also US citizens. But if we talk about the US government never mind if we talk about the actual government or the one before, I do really agree with a lot of the other germans.
It´s like you thought that the east germany DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) did wrong stuff like spying everyone and putting everyone under general suspicion. But what the NSA is doing is a little bit more extreme. Not that there is a much bigger amount of data getting into the hands of the intelligence agency but also the perfection which the modern technology allows to exhaust the personal data of everyone. So, the comparison fits because how could you disagree that the USA is a police state if you would say that the DDR has been? Related to spying the comparison fits pretty much. That´s what a lot of german think right now.
It´s crazy that a lot of people do mention now that they would prefer to have Vladimir Putin as a friend instead of Barack Obama. But I do think that is showing how shocked people are right now.
I do think many people agree that intelligence agencies necessary need to do observation to stop terrorism. But I do think that people are afraid of the dramatic scale this is done by the USA. The amount of data, nobody knows how long your data is stored and that everybody is under general suspicion. Also there are voices which say that nobody can know if the USA is even doing industrial espionage or more. I really can understand this fear, people have now.
I just can speak of thinks I have read from german users in the internet and what I heard from people around me. It´s like I said… It´s like 95% of the german people don´t trust the US government an inch anymore and many go so far to say the USA is evil. These days it is in germany somewhat easy to hear people speak bad about the USA if we leave out our own government. But talking about the german citizens, there is a very fast growing anti-americanism. I really dislike this anti word but I don´t find another way to explain it. It has to do with US foreign affairs especially the wars, lies and everything Edward Snowden released did do the rest now.
Pretty crazy events anyhow. That´s all I can say at the end.