On paper … of course not.
On the ground … it’s probably already gone, and you didn’t even know.
Violations of the fourth amendment by the federal government encourage the use of encryption but that avenue may now being blocked.
n 2003 I said the cyber-libertarians were naive to dream of a new world of privacy and liberty built on the foundations of the internet and public key cryptography. Sadly, I got that one right.
- See more at: Marginal Revolution
Which secret surveillance scheme is involved in the Lavabit case? The company may have received a national-security letter, which is a demand issued by a federal agency (typically the F.B.I.) that the recipient turn over data about other individuals. These letters often forbid recipients from discussing it with anyone. Another possibility is that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court may have issued a warrant ordering Lavabit to participate in ongoing e-mail surveillance. We can’t be completely sure: as Judge Reggie Walton, the presiding judge of the FISA court, explained to Senator Patrick Leahy in a letter dated July 29th, FISA proceedings, decisions, and legal rationales are typically secret. America’s surveillance programs are secret, as are the court proceedings that enable them and the legal rationales that justify them; informed dissents, like those by Levison or Senator Ron Wyden, must be kept secret. The reasons for all this secrecy are also secret. That some of the secrets are out has not deterred the Obama Administration from prosecuting leakers under the Espionage Act for disclosure of classified information. Call it meta-secrecy.
Both levels of emphasis are my own.
Lavabit was closed down because it was either that, or comply with something secret that was inconsistent with the site’s mission.
And what is that mission? Lavabit allowed users to encrypt e-mail before sending it (well enough that even Lavabit couldn’t decrypt it).
Do note that this is something that many people routinely do. But, the trick is, when you think you’re sending secure e-mail, it’s already pre-set to the unsecured position.
FWIW: I got … hmmm … pilloried by some family members last month by noting that business models like Snapchat’s give you the illusion of security without offering you any security at all. It’s a Brave New World out there.