A Government Error Just Revealed Snowden Was the Target in the Lavabit Case


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IT’S BEEN ONE of the worst-kept secrets for years: the identity of the person the government was investigating in 2013 when it served the secure email firm Lavabit with a court order demanding help spying on a particular customer.

Ladar Levison, owner of the now defunct email service, has been forbidden since then, under threat of contempt and possibly jail time, from identifying who the government was investigating. In court documents from the case unsealed in late 2013, all information that could identify the customer was redacted.

But federal authorities recently screwed up and revealed the secret themselves when they published a cache of case documents but failed to redact one identifying piece of information about the target: his email address, Ed_Snowden@lavabit.com. With that, the very authorities holding the threat of jail time over Levison’s head if he said anything have confirmed what everyone had long ago presumed: that the target account was Snowden’s.

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Here’s a quick recap of that case: On June 28, 2013, shortly after newspapers published the first NSA leaks from Snowden, FBI agents showed up at Levison’s door in Texas and served him with a pen register order requiring him to give the government metadata for the email activity of one customer’s account.

The case was initially sealed and the public didn’t learn about it and the fight over Levison’s customer until after he had shuttered his email service in defiance of the government. But even after he closed Lavabit and there was no hope of the government obtaining information about the account that it had been seeking, the target was never identified.

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Then the government messed up. When the documents were re-posted to Pacer this month, Snowden’s Lavabit email address was left unredacted in plain sight in an August 2013 document.

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WIRED spoke with Levison, prior to his learning that the government had made the redaction error, about his struggle to obtain transparency. “Three years later, I still cannot tell you who they were after. I keep getting asked the question, and I can’t answer.”

Now, it appears he doesn’t have to. The government has answered for him.

 

source: http://www.wired.com/2016/03/government-error-just-revealed-snowden-target-lavabit-case/

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3 hours ago, Jack W said:

Why would his tip go to FPN, when I posted about this 2 days ago:

 

 

I do find it quite funny that FunkyMike's "post" just showed up now, because it was NOT there on Friday, if it was, I wouldn't have posted in the first place!

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11 minutes ago, Thomas the Tank Engine said:

Why would his tip go to FPN, when I posted about this 2 days ago:

 

 

I do find it quite funny that FunkyMike's "post" just showed up now, because it was NOT there on Friday, if it was, I wouldn't have posted in the first place!

It didn't "just" show up, I replied to it, which pushed it to the top. FunkyMike posted at 9:54am on Friday, you at 8:13pm.

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Like I said, if it would have been there on Friday -- which it wasn't -- then I would NOT have posted the exact same thing!

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