Groklaw third to fall amid fears of surveillance state

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Groklaw third to fall amid fears of surveillance state
Credit: Indie Illustrator

Founder shares fears of Lavabit, Silent Circle.

A long running blog into legal open source issues has become the third web service to shutter its doors to avoid scrutiny by US national security agencies.

The much-lauded Groklaw blog which provided thorough insight into technology law suits and developments in the open source space folded in response to the closure of encrypted email service Lavabit and Silent Mail earlier this month.

Lavabit founder Ladar Levison closed doors and scorched emails belonging to almost half a million users after unnamed US authorities pressured the site presumably into providing access to emails.

Levison was legally gagged from disclosing details of that pressure but he said he had willingly provided email access to authorities before when requested.

Hours later, Silent Circle closed its Silent Mail email service citing both the folding of Lavabit and the inherent insecurity of email.

Groklaw founder Pamela Jones took a similar line saying that the site would close because of fears of government surveillance and state encroachments into its users privacy.

"There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum,” Jones said in a blog.

"And the simple truth is, no matter how good the motives might be for collecting and screening everything we say to one another, and no matter how clean we all are ourselves from the standpoint of the screeners, I don't know how to function in such an atmosphere.”

The site was perhaps most famous for its analysis of the now re-opened SCO vs IBM lawsuit. It's userbase include respected lawyers whose works were frequently cited in the press and law journals.

Levision, above, discusses Lavabit closure.

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