Groklaw closes: Another Victim of the Surveillance State

Like the owner of Lavabit, the founder of Groklaw, Pamela Jones, will close the Groklaw site, a site that has won numerous awards for legal analysis, covering such topics as the EU Microsoft anti-trust case, the SCO-Linux Lawsuits….The problem: Email privacy is now simply a fantasy. Open source, Groklaw depends on reader information. In short, Groklaw depends on email. For its work, Groklaw has received awards from the American Bar Association, the Electronic Frontier Association…. The Library of Congress selected it for its Web Archival Project, in the category of legal blogs.


An open-source legal website, Groklaw is now defunct.


Speaking to her readers and collaborators, Pamela Jones, the founder of Groklaw, writes:


“The owner of Lavabit tells us that he’s stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we’d stop too.

“There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.

“What to do?”



“They tell us that if you send or receive an email from outside the US, it will be read. If it’s encrypted, they keep it for five years, presumably in the hopes of tech advancing to be able to decrypt it against your will and without your knowledge. Groklaw has readers all over the world…

“I remember 9/11 vividly. I had a family member who was supposed to be in the World Trade Center that morning, and when I watched on live television the buildings go down with living beings inside, I didn’t know that she had been late that day and so was safe…


So imagine how I feel now, imagining as I must what kind of world we are living in if the governments of the world think total surveillance is an appropriate thing?


I know. It may not even be about that. But what if it is? Do we even know? I don’t know. What I do know is it’s not possible to be fully human if you are being surveilled 24/7. [Emphasis mine.]



Who is next? We know the Guardian is under attack,  as will be the Washington Post, the New York Times and any other avenue for honest reporting. To protect the surveillance state, Obama clearly ordered the downing and inspection of the plane carrying the president of Bolivia. To protect their surveillance states, Obama and David Cameron both had a hand in the detention of Miranda–a clear message to Greenwald and the Guardian to desist with its exposé and discussion of the growing surveillance state. We have recently learned that the Guardian was ordered to destroy hard drives containing possible information on the scope of the surveillance state. The men from Whitehall told Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian:


“You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.” There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. “You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”

Slowly but surely, the conscience of the world will be silenced. For what? The response to 911 was an opening for those who love power, who trade in fear and hatred. We now have an unending war, run by a Nobel Peace Prize winner and constitutional lawyer, our first black president. The mind reels at the monstrous ironies.


Mr. President,


It really is time to have that discussion you promised. Let’s make it an honest discussion, if that is possible.





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