Ladar Levison and Stephen Wyatt presented the upcoming Dark Internet Mail Environment (DIME) at Defcon22 this week. According to El Reg, Levison, who shut down Lavabit, his previous mail service rather than comply with FBI demands that he divulge the private SSL certificates used to encrypt traffic on that service, said:
“I’m not upset that I got railroaded and I had to shut down my business … I’m upset because we need a mil-spec cryptographic mail system for the entire planet just to be able to talk to our friends and family without any kind of fear of government surveillance”.
I think that puts the problem into perspective.
I’m upset they still don’t seem to see the real problem: it is entirely irrelevant whatever technical measures you deploy if you can be legally forced to reveal all without any barriers to abuse of such power (you know, the trivial stuff called probable cause and due process that ensures those powers are used responsibly).
The real problem is /NOT/ technology, and as long as people keep living this dream that they can somehow avoid dealing with the broken legal system by throwing more technology at it the core problem will not get solved. But hey, it ensures Silicon Valley can still sell.
However, it is /always/ good that people work on even better technology for protection – from that perspective I welcome all efforts. But it’s IMHO not solving the key problem – not even close.