Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Encrypted E-Mail Serivce Edward Snowden Used: An Explicit 'Atlas Shrugged' Connection

Stuart K. Hayashi

 Do you remember how, in his first few months on the run, Edward Snowden used the encrypted e-mail service LavaBit?  And do you remember how, when the federal government demanded that LavaBit had over sensitive information on Snowden and its other users, LavaBit decided to shut down completely rather than capitulate to the State?  

Alexanader Cohen conducted the following 85-minute interview with LavaBit's owner, Ladar Levison, over Skype.  At the 0:31:00 mark, Levison talks very explicitly about how Atlas Shrugged -- Ellis Wyatt and Wyatt's Torch in particular -- helped inspire his decision to take the stand that he has.

Levison frequently uses the word sacrifice for his decision to close his business.  However, I do not believe he has sacrificed his deepest values.  Rather, he closed his business to preserve his greatest values.

At the very end of the interview, Levison says:
The Constitution wasn't designed to protect the majority.  It was designed to protect the minority. It was designed to protect the people who didn't have the votes, because they were a small cadre of individuals.  It was designed to protect them from being ridden over roughshod by Congress and the majority.
I'm glad there are still people in this world who will take such an important stand.