CryptoSeal Privacy Consumer VPN service terminated with immediate effect
With immediate effect as of this notice, CryptoSeal Privacy, our consumer VPN service, is terminated. All cryptographic keys used in the operation of the service have been zerofilled, and while no logs were produced (by design) during operation of the service, all records created incidental to the operation of the service have been deleted to the best of our ability.
While details remain unclear, and possibly will never be made clear on purpose, they explain the closure on the nexus between what the United States law demands and what they promise their customers.
Essentially, the service was created and operated under a certain understanding of current US law, and that understanding may not currently be valid. As we are a US company and comply fully with US law, but wish to protect the privacy of our users, it is impossible for us to continue offering the CryptoSeal Privacy consumer VPN product.
And they point directly to Lavabit. That didn’t take long. The dots are growing, the dominoes falling, and all the rhetorical bravado in the world didn’t save CryptoSeal. Some may argue that they’re just a bunch of cowards, not tough enough to outgun the United States government. Some may argue that they lacked the technological savvy to make it impossible for the government to beat them at their game (and let’s not go down that path again, please. It leads nowhere).
The arguments of creating privacy systems that are impenetrable by the government have obvious appeal. From the CryptoSeal statement, it appears they favor off-shoring privacy, at least for now:
To our affected users: we are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience. For any users with positive account balances at the time of this action, we will provide 1 year subscriptions to a non-US VPN service of mutual selection, as well as a refund of your service balance, and free service for 1 year if/when we relaunch a consumer privacy VPN service. Thank you for your support, and we hope this will ease the inconvenience of our service terminating.
Will that beat the system? In another post by Masnick, he writes about an identity theft ring
run out of Vietnam by a guy named Hieu Minh Ngo. Ngo was just arrested, after a grand jury indictment, and the feds luring him out of Vietnam to Guam over a supposed business deal.
Wait! How does the US get jurisdiction over some guy in Vietnam? That’s wrong! That’s against the rules! They cheating! Welcome to the ugly side of the rules, which is that the government makes them.
“But the guy was stupid enough to go to Guam…”
Next, meet our old friend, extraordinary rendition. That’s where they just snatch someone in the middle of the night and whisk them off to wherever they want. Maybe it’s the United States to stand trial. Maybe it’s a black ops prison in some desert to engage in enhanced interrogation techniques. Maybe it’s nowhere you will ever be found again.
If the government wants you badly enough, they will find a way to get you. Remember this scene:
Guess who’s the guy with the scimitar?
It’s not that all hope is lost. The government can be overreaching, but only to the extent it reflects the will of the people to tolerate it, and the state of the law that permits it. This is why the fight must be made before the law is lost to neglect and privacy dead in the age of whatever War we’re fighting today.
There are two points that need desperately to be made, and CryptoSeal does its part to make the points by closing down rather than operating a lie. First, that there will be no privacy left once we’ve either given it away or allowed the government to take it from us. Second, that it’s not just the dreaded terrorists that are affected, but everyone.
The vehement arguments by hackers don’t resonate with moms in Peoria. Not only don’t they care about you, but they are threatened by the crazy stuff they hear about Anonymous and Wikileaks. Whether it’s true or wholesale fiction isn’t important. They believe it to be true, and they don’t find hacker culture particularly alluring or persuasive.
You may not care much about how they feel, but there are a lot of them and relatively few of you. They go to League of Women Voters meetings and you go to comicon. Their influence dwarfs yours. Hard as it may be to imagine, you aren’t the center of the universe.
There are parallels here between what happened to asset forfeiture law in its earliest days, when it was only applied to crack dealers and, well, nobody gave a damn. So the law that developed was a nightmare, and is now being applied to non-drug dealers. Suddenly, everyone is up in arms and wants to know how it happened, how it’s possible that such horrible law can be precedent.
It’s happening again with privacy. Connect the dots. Would you rather stay up all night writing about somebody is wrong on the internet, or would you rather try to stop the end of privacy before it’s too late?