Nerval's Lobster writes: Government whistleblower Edward Snowden has some choice things to say about the recent controversy surrounding Lavabit. In a statement to The Guardian , he applauded Lavabit’s decision to shut down in response to a government lawsuit while condemning the tech titans’ refusal to do more to lock down users’ data. “America cannot succeed as a country where individuals like Mr. Levison have to relocate their businesses abroad to be successful," he wrote. "Employees and leaders at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren’t fighting for our interests the same way small businesses are. The defense they have offered to this point is that they were compelled by laws they do not agree with, but one day of downtime for the coalition of their services could achieve what a hundred Lavabits could not.” The question now is whether individuals and businesses will stop using cloud-based services they view as vulnerable to surveillance by third parties such as the NSA and FBI. If that becomes the case, it could seriously affect the business models of Google, Microsoft, and other IT firms that have wholeheartedly embraced the cloud in recent years. It also remains to be seen whether more encrypted-services companies follow in Lavabit’s footsteps and shut down.
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