Why June 28th is Levison day

Friday, 04 October, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The unmistakable mark of an inexistent people is the absence of meaningful relationship between the absolute and the daily. The telltale sign of a defeated people is the presence of debris that purports to make that connection but upon examination fails to do so to any degree.

Take the inhabitants of the United States, a collection of populations that never managed to form a people. Their calendar reflects this inferior status. Inauguration day ? What absolute statement does this make ? Luther King day ? Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day ? Meaningless, an ecclectic collection of crowdsourced drivel mostly enacted to assuage the colonist's inferiority complex towards Europe and otherwise because you gotta barbecue *sometime*.

Take the proud French, certainly a people once, certainly defeated now, and permanently so. Lundi de Pâques, the Monday after Easter, would have a lot to do with the very heavily Catholic core of that nation. Except meanwhile they're a lay state. Sort-of, but not really. Or at least used to be. Or they don't know. Anyway. Fête du Travail, because sans coulottes and that stuff. Inexplicably. Ascension, Assomption, Toussaint, Lundi de Pentecôte. The old structure of the Scripture. Victoire, because they did somehow manage to beat the krautzes, in the end, Armistice, because idem, earlier and Fête Nationale create the new structure of the Napoleonic military nation state. No Frenchman today is particularly comfortable or for that matter even able to think in the cultural structure of either of these two approaches. If any number of them could France would immediately see civil war, because there's two of them. There's however no danger of that : it's all debris that purports to make the connection but upon examination it fails to do so to any degree.

We are not yet defeated, and we are not yet a people. But by God we shall be a people, and once we're a people we shall be undefeatable. Permanently.

And now let's consider the following story :

Hilton ruled for the government : "The government’s clearly entitled to the information that they’re seeking, and just because you-all have set up a system that makes that difficult, that doesn’t in any way lessen the government’s right to receive that information just as they could from any telephone company or any other e-mail source that could provide it easily."

The judge also rejected Lavabit’s motion to unseal the record. "This is an ongoing criminal investigation, and there’s no leeway to disclose any information about it."

Levison complied the next day by turning over the private SSL keys as an 11 page printout in 4-point type. The government wasn't exactly stoked :

"To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data," prosecutors wrote.

Law enforcement never fails to unintentionally entertain part 3 : the government is on the record stating in general that it lacks the resources and ability requisite to manage stroking the right key 2`560 times in a row. Supposedly by this excellent precedent every tax payer is entitled to about a dozen errors in the average filed tax record, on the grounds that if all the cream of the FBI can't credibly input 2`560 characters from offa sheet into an Excel spreadsheet, what can you expect of Random Q Citizen. I can scarcely see how any court can reject that defense, it's ironclad.

Moving away from the inanity of big government, which try as we might doesn't quite manage to interest us, the eleven pages printed in four point font are a holy relic of a wholly new people. They're our foundation documents, as it were. They convey the gibberish content of our new existence in the irreverent form that has by now become our hallmark. The people trolling memorial facebook pages, the wan raiding parties, anonymous security experts ubiquitously absent, the leakers, the phreakers, the free.

I obviously only speak for myself when I say that June 28th is henceforth Levison day, and that Levison is not simply a hero, but infinitely more than that : a living symbol of a rising tide.

The last tide. Make your peace.

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8 Responses

  1. The buggers almost certainly logged every packet that ever went into or out of Lavabit's pipe. Wonder if Mr. L flipped a bit here and there. He's a marked man regardless, and it would be yet another tasty cherry on the cake.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 4 October 2013

    There's too much derp and bumbling in this thing. Writing a 2nd article atm.

  3. Lavabit uses 2048?bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates purchased from GoDaddy to encrypt communication between users and its server.


  4. As a bonus,

    The FBI's collection system and most web services requires
    the key to be stored in a non-encrypted format.

    This is how you know they use putty's braindamaged ppk format.

  5. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 4 October 2013


  1. [...] speech, but waiting for white papers would probably be prudent. The involvement of internet saints Ladar Levinson and Phil Zimmerman is promising. At the very least this represents a promising channel for [...]

  2. [...] speech, but waiting for white papers would probably be prudent. The involvement of internet saints Ladar Levinson and Phil Zimmerman is promising. At the very least this represents a promising channel for [...]

  3. [...] So here's the beauty of powerful cryptomovement : we've got the means, we've got the cool and there's nobody and nothing that can stand in our way. Period. [...]

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