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EXCLUSIVE: Owner of Snowden’s Email Service on Why He Closed Lavabit Rather Than Comply With Gov’t

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Viseo here;

Lavabit, an encrypted email service believed to have been used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, has abruptly shut down. The move came amidst a legal fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to customer information.

In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we are joined by Lavabit owner Ladar Levison and his lawyer, Jesse Binnall. “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it. I would like to, believe me,”

Levison says. “I think if the American public knew what our government was doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore.” In a message to his customers last week, Levison said: “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people, or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit.”

Levison said he was barred from discussing the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision. Soon after, another secure email provider called Silent Circle also announced it was shutting down.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AARON MATÉ: We turn now to the news an encrypted email service believed to have been used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has abruptly shut down. The move came amidst a legal fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to customer information.

The owner of Lavabit, Ladar Levison, wrote a message online saying, quote, “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people, or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit.” Ladar Levison said he was barred from discussing the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision.

He went on to write, quote, “This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.”

Later on Thursday, another secure email provider called Silent Circle also announced it was shutting down.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, in a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by Ladar Levison, founder, owner and operator of Lavabit. We’re also joined by his lawyer, Jesse Binnall.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Ladar Levison, let’s begin with you. Explain the decision you made.

LADAR LEVISON: Yeah, well, I’ve—thank you, Amy. I’ve compared the decision to that of, you know, putting a beloved pet to sleep, you know, faced with the choice of watching it suffer or putting it to sleep quietly. It was a very difficult decision. But I felt that in the end I had to pick between the lesser of two evils and that shutting down the service, if it was no longer secure, was the better option. It was, in effect, the lesser of the two evils.

AMY GOODMAN: What are you facing? When you say “the lesser of two evils,” what was the other choice?

LADAR LEVISON: Unfortunately, I can’t talk about that. I would like to, believe me. I think if the American public knew what our government was doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore, which is why I’m here in D.C. today speaking to you. My hope is that, you know, the media can uncover what’s going on, without my assistance, and, you know, sort of pressure both Congress and our efforts through the court system to, in effect, put a cap on what it is the government is entitled to in terms of our private communications.

AARON MATÉ: For those who aren’t familiar with what encrypted email is, can you walk us through that and talk about what your service provided?

LADAR LEVISON: Certainly. You know, I’ve always liked to say my service was by geeks, for geeks. It’s grown up over the last 10 years, it’s sort of settled itself into serving those that are very privacy-conscious and security-focused. We offered secure access via high-grade encryption. And at least for our paid users, not for our free accounts—I think that’s an important distinction—we offered secure storage, where incoming emails were stored in such a way that they could only be accessed with the user’s password, so that, you know, even myself couldn’t retrieve those emails. And that’s what we meant by encrypted email. That’s a term that’s sort of been thrown around because there are so many different standards for encryption, but in our case it was encrypted in secure storage, because, as a third party, you know, I didn’t want to be put in a situation where I had to turn over private information. I just didn’t have it. I didn’t have access to it. And that was sort of—may have been the situation that I was facing. You know, obviously, I can’t speak to the details of any specific case, but—I’ll just leave it at that.

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August 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Google: Gmail users ‘have no legitimate expectation of privacy’

…“I feel like there is a rising tide of surveillance out there, and we need to push back against it,” Silent Circle COO Vic Hyder told RT this week….

….News of Google’s motion to dismiss the complaint comes just days after two pay-for-use providers of highly encrypted and seemingly secure email services announced they’d be calling it quits. Vaguely citing a federal investigation, Texas-based Lavabit said on Thursday last week that they’re shutting down its email service, reportedly used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Hours later, competitor Silent Circle said they’d be doing the same…..

Image by Google

Published time: August 13, 2013 18:42

As tensions worsen among privacy-focused email users amid the escalating scandal surrounding government surveillance, a brief filed by attorneys for Google has surfaced showing that Gmail users should never expect their communications to be kept secret.

Consumer Watchdog has unearthed a July 13, 2013 motion filed by Google’s attorneys with regards to ongoing litigation challenging how the Silicon Valley giant operates its highly popular free email service.

The motion, penned in hopes of having the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismiss a class action complaint against the company, says Gmail users should assume that any electronic correspondence that’s passed through Google’s servers can be accessed and used for an array of options, such as selling ads to customers.

Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use Web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [email provider] in the course of delivery,” the motion reads in part. “Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’”

Elsewhere, Google’s legal counsel says the plaintiffs are attempting “to criminalize ordinary business practices” that the company has implemented for nearly a decade, specifically the automated scanning of emails.

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CRIIRAD denounce nuclear shady goings on in French Polynesia

Yet he had achieved concrete results, site remediation and recognition of victims’ rights matters…..

Image source ; (french only)


CRIIRAD denounced the dismissal of Bruno Barrillot and is concerned that it  closes, once again, the issue of the health impact and environmental impact of nuclear tests France

Bruno Barrillot is an independent consultant, specializing in weapons, including nuclear weapons. Co-founder in 1984 of the Centre for Documentation and Research on Peace and Conflict, now the Observatory arms [1].

In 2005, he was charged by the government of French Polynesia monitoring the consequences of French nuclear tests in French Polynesia. and had achieved concrete results concerning site remediation and recognition of victims’ rights matters.

The French authorities have long argued that their experimental atomic explosions remained clean and therefore had no casualties.

The very poor Morin 2010 law on compensation for victims of the trials [2] was the first step towards truth and justice. Bruno Barrillot played an important role in its development.

One of the first decisions of the government of Gaston Flosse, again became president of French Polynesia on May 17, was to end, without explanation, its monitoring mission which is far from being completed.

Mururoa E ARMADILLO (Association of workers and victims of Mururoa and Fangataufaa) created a petition to support Bruno Barrillot: Justice for the victims of French nuclear tests
Sign the petition

Law No. 2010-2 of 5 January 2010 on the recognition and compensation of victims of French nuclear tests

[2] Loi n° 2010-2 du 5 janvier 2010 relative à la reconnaissance et à l’indemnisation des victimes des essais nucléaires français

Source In French only

August 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Few barriers between Nevada and nation’s nuclear waste

….That view was not unanimous in the 2-1 decision. Judge Merrick B. Garland wrote a dissent scoffing at the assumed import of the decision, chiding that an order to send $11 million would do more than “order the commission to spend part of those funds unpacking its boxes, and the remainder packing them up again.”….


Published Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013

The pressure on Nevada lawmakers to see a new nuclear waste disposal act through Congress this session just skyrocketed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., decided Tuesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must continue reviewing plans for a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain until they have zero funds to continue.

That leaves only two barriers to Nevada getting dumped with the nation’s nuclear waste: Sen. Harry Reid’s ability to block funding – which depends entirely on Democrats keeping a majority in the Senate – or a scientific determination that Yucca Mountain is unfit.

Neither is as sure a thing as a law that simply designates a new destination for nuclear waste.

But it may take a small miracle to get such legislation passed.

“We’re not going to get any laws passed to change this,” Reid told reporters during a summit on clean energy in Las Vegas on Tuesday, blaming Tea Party opposition for stymieing any positive momentum toward siting a new repository.

In fact, the problem runs far deeper than that.

Last month, Congress began considering a bill to site new temporary and permanent repositories to store spent nuclear fuel by a consent-based process. Such a process, which would rely on the host community agreeing to the project, won tentative approval of members of the Nevada delegation, including Sen. Dean Heller, who got a whole lot more vocal about his support for the legislation immediately after the appeals court decision.

“Today’s decision serves as yet another example of why Yucca Mountain needs to be taken off the table once and for all,” Nevada Sen. Dean Heller said in a statement released after the ruling. “Instead of continuing to try to force Yucca Mountain on the people of Nevada, my colleagues should focus on moving toward a new process that will allow for consent-based siting.”

But last month, lawmakers in the House of Representatives also overwhelmingly rejected amendments presented by Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., to divert money appropriated for the Yucca Mountain licensing process by a vote of 335 to 81.

Votes like that – which occur on an annual basis – make it clear that support for Yucca is strong in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

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August 13, 2013 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Statement Against India’s Activation of Nuclear Submarine and Missile Test

Tuesday 13 August 2013

We strongly condemn India’s recent activation of a nuclear-propelled submarine quickly followed by flight-test of another nuclear-capable missile. Brandishing these tools of mass destruction as guarantees of national security while ignoring the issues of real safety, security and well-being of the Indian people demonstrates a perverse pathology.

Naming the submarine “Arihant” after a holy figure from Jainism which stands for peace is yet another cruel irony similar to “the Buddha smiled” code for the 1974 nuclear test. It also obfuscates the reality that the “indigenous” submarine is critically based on borrowed military technology and the fact that huge imports of such technology and weapons systems are bleeding our economy.

Far from providing us security, nuclear weaponisation has led to a sharp rise in the defence budget, more instability in South Asia and an escalating regional arms race. In the 15th year after the Pokharan-II tests, important lessons need to be learnt.

To get the sanctions imposed after the nuclear tests removed and to get an elusive legitimate nuclear weapons-state status, India promised to buy reactors from the US, France and Russia. These are now being imposed on Indian farmers and fishermen by brutal force.

The rise of national chauvinism and sectarianism in all of South Asia is yet another deplorable fallout of this nuclear nationalism.

We urge the government to desist from further escalation of the arms race, strengthen confidence-building measures with our neighbours, resume a dialogue with Pakistan, and negotiate a South Asian nuclear weapons-free zone treaty at the earliest.

For the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace,

Achin Vanaik, Praful Bidwai, Lalita Ramdas, Abey George, Kumar Sundaram

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100 nuclear blasts = worldwide starvation

August 7, 2013


Hiroshima Day in Cambridge

IPPNW Co-president Ira Helfand explains the medical and humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons at a Hiroshima Day memorial gathering in Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 6. Dr. Helfand asked the participants to sign a petition urging President Obama to make good on his pledge to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. Photo: John Loretz

Hiroshima Day in Cambridge

IPPNW’s nuclear famine message was carried on signs during a march from Cambridge City Hall to Harvard Square, where they provided a backdrop to Ira Helfand’s impassioned plea for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Photo: John Loretz

Hiroshima in ruins

A little boy managed somehow to survive but the atomic bomb took his entire family. This A-bomb orphan lived through hardship, isolation, and illness, but was never able to have a family of his own. Today, he is a lonely old hibakusha. “I have never once been glad I survived,” he says, looking back. After all these years of terrible suffering, the deep hurt remains. Read more…

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60 Years of Strife: Ending War in Korea


Published on 11 Aug 2013


On the surface, the casual observer of Korea could be forgiven for forgetting that the nation is still at war. The South has been utterly transformed since the days of the fighting, with the impressive skyline of modern-day Seoul reflecting the country’s modern, high-tech economy. Even the DMZ has been tamed and gentrified, with souvenir shops and tourist attractions mingling seamlessly with military personnel whose presence at times seems more ceremonial than operational.

But beneath that surface remains the deep, lingering scars of a nation divided against itself, and the memories of a bitter, brutal war. Now, 60 years after the signing of the armistice, Korean peace activists are working harder than ever to confront the myths that have propped up and maintained this state of war, spearheading an effort to finally bring real peace to the Korean peninsula.

August 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Nuclear weapons unit fails key security test

Screenshot from 2013-08-13 18:25:25
1:02 PM, Aug 13, 2013


Air Force officials say a unit responsible for operating nuclear missiles has failed a safety and security inspection.

This is the second major setback this year for the Air Force’s nuclear weapons force, which is responsible for 450 land-based nuclear missiles on 24/7 alert for potential launch at targets around the globe. Last spring a missile unit in North Dakota received weak grades on an inspection but did not fail it outright; that performance was so poor, however, that 17 officers temporarily lost their authority to operate missiles.

As described to The Associated Press on Tuesday by Air Force Lt. Gen. James M. Kowalski, the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., failed a nuclear safety and security inspection this week.

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Philippines – A Nuclear Plant, and a Dream that Fizzled

…He added that the most recent viability and safety study on the plant was done in 2008…

….Lawmakers did not offer to restore maintenance funds in the Energy department’s budget, which they can do since they are the ones who will approve the 2014 budget proposal…..

iMAGE SOURCE ; A Nuclear Plant, and a Dream, Fizzles

MANILA, Philippines –

 (The Philippine Star) |

Two Central Luzon congresswomen has asked Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to save the $2.2-billion Bataan nuclear power plant by providing it with maintenance funds.

Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Cojuangco said she was appalled by the decision of the Aquino administration to no longer provide P45 million ($1,027 260.00 ) for the upkeep of the plant in the 2014 national budget.

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Did Robert Mugabe Sign Uranium Deal To Aid Iran Nuclear Program?

13/08/2013 By

Zimbabwe has denied reports it signed a covert agreement to supply Iran with the uranium it needs to develop a nuclear weapon. Such a deal would be in violation of international sanctions imposed on the two regimes.

The Times of London quoted Gift Chimanikire, the outgoing Zimbabwean deputy mining minister, as saying that he has seen a memorandum of understanding “to export uranium to the Iranians,” despite warnings from the U.S. that such a deal may result in serious “ramifications.”Ahmadinejad-Mugabe1

Chimanikire, who belongs to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party that recently lost to Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF, said that Zimbabwe had struck the deal last year.

Nevertheless, the report cited analysts as saying that Zimbabwe’s uranium reserves are as yet not ready for export.

Chimanikire later told Bloomberg that he was misquoted and the agreement was only aimed at future possible exploration in the mineral-rich southern African nation.

“We have no capacity to handle uranium as a country, and besides we don’t even know the quantity of uranium” deposits viable for mining, Chimanikire said.

The U.S. and the EU have imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran with the purpose of stunting its nuclear program. Zimbabwe is also subject to international sanctions over its human rights abuses and election violations.

Mugabe has forged a cozy relationship with Iran and has frequently stood up for the Islamic republic at the United Nations and elsewhere, portraying it as a victim of Western regime-change plots.

The firebrand leader called Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons a “just cause.”

Despite its radical stance on the international stage, Zimbabwe also has an occasional alliance of convenience with Israel. It once purchased millions in riot control equipment from an Israeli firm.

It has recently faced accusations of using Nikuv, a shadowy Israeli company specializing in identity documents, to rig national elections, which Mugabe claims to have won in a landslide.

With Haaretz


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Texas nuclear weapons facility to build wind farm

11:45 AM

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, broke ground today on an 11.5-megawatt wind farm at the U.S. Energy Department’s Pantex Plant near Amarillo, the main site for the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

Pantex will get about 65 percent of its power from the five 2.3-megawatt Siemens turbines that will be the largest federally owned wind farm when completed in July 2014, the department said today in a statement.

The project is expected to generate an average of $2.8 million annually in energy savings that will be used to fund its cost through an 18-year performance-based contract, the department said. Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc. is providing upfront financing.

The wind farm is expected to generate about 47 million kilowatt hours of energy, enough to power about 3,500 homes.

The U.S. federal government aims to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, up from the current 7.5 percent.

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16×9 : Untested Science: Fracking natural gas controversy in Canada

Screenshot from 2013-08-13 15:58:24

The Hon Rich Coleman promising public consultation to grand applause from the First Nations and other interested parties

Screenshot from 2013-08-13 16:02:16

The Hon Rich Coleman gets rich by NOT having an actual public consultation. Here he is checking his pulse after a particularly difficult question, from the interviewer on the video…

The whole video of the interview is below.. A prize of an invisible fluffy rabbit (if i can find it) will be given to the person who counts correctly, Rich Colemans blinking and twitches during the interview 🙂

“…When evaluating body language, pay attention to the follow eye signals: People often blink more rapidly when they are feeling distressed or uncomfortable….”

Qoute source ;

Published on 13 Apr 2012

A new frontier of natural gas production is making controversial headlines. Hydraulic Fracturing or “fracking” is becoming more common in Canada. But experts say “fracking” can cause contaminated ground water, earthquakes and pollute our land with toxic chemicals.

h/t David Ickes Headlines

August 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fukushima Protest Contest! – Win a gold bar from EBISU studios!

gold_11 - gold bar;gold bars;

Image source ;

The gold bar HAS been checked for radioactivity!!

Andrew Ebisu

Published on 12 Aug 2013

Fukushima Protest Contest! Please Remix! To enter, please Subscribe & message me.
Fukushima Awareness Contest. Please watch, share and enter. Watch this video and consider entering his contest to spread the word about the Fukushima crisis. 400 tons (ADMITTED by TEPCO, so Multiply THAT amount by a factor of X!) of radioactive water are going into the Pacific Ocean every day! We don’t have much time. Please let me know your thoughts and to enter you must comment on this video and fulfil the conditions of entry. I need at least 50 entries to go ahead with this competition. Good luck and God speed.

Fukushima GAME ON…Let’s DO THIS! YOU are Formally Invited to Join Us All.–_E
NOTE: THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE OF DATE FOR THIS GET TOGETHER MARCH (due to conflict of scheduling). IT HAS BEEN CHANGED TO SEPTEMBER 28, 2013. This is your Formal invitation 🙂 I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE! We Can and Have been making a difference. Let’s continue to make a difference Together 🙂 LET OUR VOICES BE HEARD! Stand up and Say Something 🙂
All of YOU and All of your Friends, Family, neighbors, or Anyone is invited to join in!
Fukushima is a nightmare disaster area, and no one has the slightest idea what to do. The game is to prevent the crippled nuclear plant from turning into an “open-air super reactor spectacular” which would result in a hazardous, melted catastrophe.

Busby: Can’t seal Fukushima like Chernobyl – it all goes into sea
Since then, huge amounts of radioactivity have flowed from the wrecked reactors directly into the Pacific Ocean. Attempts to stop the flow of contaminated water from Fukushima into the sea were always unlikely to succeed. It is like trying to push water uphill. Now they all seem to have woken up to the issue and have begun to panic.

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August 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Grapefruit-sized RadBall proposed for Fukushima clean-up

Screenshot from 2013-08-13 08:00:12

Transcript, Video on link;

This is the RadBall – a radiation detecting device for disaster areas too dangerous for humans to enter. Devised by British engineer Steven Stanley, of the National Nuclear Laboratory, it requires no external power source and can be deployed in high radiation areas by robot.


“The first part of the device is the radiation sensitive core and this is made up of layers of aluminium and radiation sensitive film….Now the core fits inside the second part of the Radball, which we call a collimation sheath, and this is actually a ten millimetre thick tungsten sphere that fits around the core….Rather like a colander there are a lot of holes in the colonator and that allows the radiation to preferentially pass through the holes into the radiation sensitive core.

” RadBall can identify radioactive contamination in confined spaces, producing a 3-D image to target clean-up operations. The radiation sensitive polymer film becomes permanently opaque within a minute of exposure to radiation, says RadBall technical lead Kat Lennox.


“We make a 3D representation of the data, as you can see on the screen behind me. We will then use this data to track back along the straight lines that you can see, so from the Radball to where the source is coming from within the room.

After we’ve done that we’ll look at the amount of colour change within each of the films to work out the strength of each of those sources.”

Radball can be sent into tight spaces inaccessible to larger pieces of equipment. Weighing 12 kilograms, it’s smaller and lighter than other competing gamma imaging technologies. Stanley says electrical systems often fail when radiation interferes with electronics – not an issue for RadBall. The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan spread radioactive material within the reactor systems of the plant and into the surrounding environment. Stanley says the RadBall could be deployed to scan the area, without putting humans with handheld detectors at risk.


“There’s some very specific challenges on Fukushima where they need to find the location of radioactive material. The main restrictions are that the radiation levels are quite high and also the actual penetration to get the measurement device in there is quite limited, so this device is very suitable.”

In UK trials the device successfully distinguished between various types of radioactive materials in a nuclear waste store. And now RadBall is under consideration by Fukushima officials to help clean-up the radioactive mess left by the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

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Crumbling nuclear industry clutches at straw of Nuclear Fusion

Britain’s leading nuclear scientist has said research into nuclear fusion is something all nations of the world should be putting money into…… Critics say it is another example of how fusion is always only “20 years away” and that in reality it will never be realised. RTE News World, 12 August 13 
  Another decade of what may turn out to be false hope is just not on
Fusion sounds great but building nuclear plants at the rate they are needed will produce a great deal of CO2 and coming when fracking is reaching maximum production that will make matters much worse. Making households independent energy producers with battery powered domestic appliances, recharged with pedal power perhaps, would be a giant step in that direction, job creating and exercise inducing too, that’s if the power companies don’t have the politicians too tight over a barrel of course. MichaelMcPhillip  The Irish Times, 12 Aug 13 

August 13, 2013 Posted by | general | 1 Comment