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Lavabit Case Unsealed

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Kevin Poulsen, reporting for Wired’s Threat Thread Level:

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.

The court ordered Levison to provide a more useful electronic copy. By August 5, Lavabit was still resisting the order, and the judge ordered that Levison would be fined $5,000 a day beginning August 6 until he handed over electronic copies of the keys.

On August 8, Levison shuttered Lavabit, making any attempt at surveillance moot. He posted an oblique message saying he’d been left with little choice in the matter.

In case you missed it yesterday, I encourage everyone to join me in contributing to Ladar Levison’s defense fund. He deserves our support.

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axlekb
1510 days ago
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Genius!
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5 public comments
Romanikque
1508 days ago
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*slow clap*
Baltimore, MD
wmorrell
1509 days ago
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"more useful electronic copy" ... so, scan the 11 pages to a PDF, then send the file?
aaronwe
1509 days ago
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Trolling the FBI for fun and profit.
Denver
esinclai
1510 days ago
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Well, that is a good data entry problem.
Chicago, IL, US