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The Code War

To Protect Its Sources, Groklaw Closes Amid Fear of Email Snooping

Groklaw's owner is closing the website because email snooping may mean its sources aren't safe.

To Protect Its Sources, Groklaw Closes Amid Fear of Email Snooping

As BoingBoing reports, the campaigning website Groklaw (which played a big part in the SCO v. IBM case over the openness of code in Unix, implicating Microsoft) is being shut by its owner, Pamela Jones. The reason: Widespread surveillance of email by organizations like the NSA is going on and would make contributing to the site unsafe for its sources.

Jones mentions the open letter published by the operator of secure comms site Lavabit, in which Ladar Levison said he felt compelled to close his site rather than give in to the surveillance demands of the U.S. government. Lavabit is said to have been the preferred site used by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Jones, meanwhile, says Groklaw cannot operate without email, and that using email would seem to put everyone who communicated with the site in danger.

Jones even compared the knowledge of surveillance to the experience of being robbed when she moved to New York. As she writes:

I really know, after all my research and some serious thinking things through, that I can't stay online personally without losing my humanness, now that I know that ensuring privacy online is impossible. I find myself unable to write.

[Image via Flickr user: Tony Fischer]