And here we come with a heartfelt example of the dire consequences that lack of online privacy has. When we are still trying to make sense of the Lavabit affair, Pamela Jones, the person behind the well-known, award winning website about law and technology Groklaw, has decided to unplug herself from the internet:
There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.
What to do? (…)
My personal decision is to get off of the Internet to the degree it’s possible. I’m just an ordinary person. But 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. I’ve always been a private person. That’s why I never wanted to be a celebrity and why I fought hard to maintain both my privacy and yours.
Oddly, if everyone did that, leap off the Internet, the world’s economy would collapse, I suppose. I can’t really hope for that. But for me, the Internet is over.
Much is being said and will be said about the implications of the massive surveillance efforts by NSA and other government agencies and companies across the world, but here you can see a delicate flower withering away due to the perceived lack of freedom of thought. In Pamela’s words, the foundation of Groklaw is over: “There is now no shield from forced exposure.”
Personally, I am deeply sorry we are losing a valuable source of information, and because the reason is the alleged effort of US government to protect US liberties.