Abe Normal loses his #Lavabit email account

Mom Normal is in the kitchen. It’s morning. She’s pouring her coffee.  She hears Abe, her son who lives in the basement, howl. Mom runs to the basement door.  “What’s wrong?” she hollers.

“My email account disappeared,” Abe howls.

Abe comes running up the stairs.  “Look! Look!” he screams.  “All my contacts.  Gone. Now I don’t know anybody’s email address.”

“Oh, dear,” Mom sympathizes.  “And you had all those job applications sent out with that email address.  Now no one can contact you with a job offer.”

“What happened?” Dad Normal asked.

“My email service provider, Lavabit, closed the company.  Just like that. Snap.”

“Did they go bankrupt?” Dad asked.

“Well, they would have, from all the lawyer fees.  But they closed down so they wouldn’t have to turn over their customer’s information to the National Security Agency.”

“Huh?” Dad said. “What are you talking about?”

“This guy who owned Lavabit.  He worked on it for ten years, building the company.  Then one day, the NSA came banging on his door and wanted all his customer information.  So he shut the company down. Snap.  Just like that.”

“And now all the employers you sent job applications to can’t contact you?” Mom asked.

“Right,” said Abe, her 25-year old son who lives in the basement while he works at 7-11 and pays off his student loans.

“Well,” said Dad, “If you had used a Gmail account, you could call the NSA and ask them to resend all your job applications.  After all, they’ve kept them on their servers in that place in Utah, right?”

“No, no,” said Mom.  “The NSA isn’t doing that.  They’re only collecting Metadata.  At least, that’s what President Obama said on TV.  He said it was a lie, that they were keeping all the information about all the American citizens.  In fact, he said he was going to investigate it.  And then he put that guy Clapper in charge of the investigation.”

“Clapper?”  said Dad.  “Isn’t Clapper the Director of National Intelligence?  Why would he have to investigate what goes on in his own agency?  Wouldn’t he already know?”

“Well,” said Mom.  “Sure he knows.  And he told the President, it isn’t true, what that traitor Snowden said.  So then the President said, okay, if it’s not true, then go check and make sure.”

“So that’s what Clapper’s going to do?  He’s going to go check and make sure that what he said was true is true?”

“Yes,” said Mom.  “And he will put out the report that said he was right exonerating himself very shortly.  Meanwhile, Abe should go get himself a Gmail account, so the NSA can keep his records for him.”

Babble, babble, babble, babble.


Read interview of Ladar Levison on Democracy Now!


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