The United States government in recent decades has become a filthy cesspool of corruption, constitutional violations, criminality, incompetence and serial wrongdoing, much of which is conducted entirely in secret under laws promulgated by Congress expressly for that purpose.
Thankfully, we have Edward Snowden and a few other courageous individual whistleblowers to thank for bringing this disgusting situation to light.
One aspect which is particularly frightening is the revelation that there are actually activities of the American judiciary which are conducted in secret by secret courts under secret laws and secret proceedings intended to be unknown and unchallengeable by the people.
Let’s get this straight at the outset. Secret laws, secret courts and secret judicial proceedings are unconstitutional. The United States Constitution makes no provision for and therefore does not allow Congress to pass secret laws, nor for the Judiciary to conduct secret courts and secret proceedings.
This is what the Constitution allows:
Article I, Section. 8., The Congress shall have Power To ... To constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
Article III, Section. 1., The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish...
Section 2., The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State,--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
Neither Congress nor the courts have the power to make secret laws enforceable by secret courts. Thus, all three branches of the federal government today are routinely violating the constitution and the constitutional rights of the American people. They do it in secret so that we won’t complain.
One of the more recent victims of this government secret cesspool activity is Ladar Levinson, the founder of America based Lavabit email services, the security-conscious email provider that was the preferred email service of NSA leaker Edward Snowden. It has just closed its doors, citing US government interference.
"I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit," explains Levinson on his company's homepage. "After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations."
Lavabit provided that all email stored on its servers be encrypted using asymmetric elliptical curve cryptography, in such a way that it was impossible to discern the contents of any email without knowing the user's password.
“Our goal was to make invading a user's privacy difficult, by protecting messages at their most vulnerable point. That doesn't mean a dedicated attacker, like the United States government, couldn't intercept the message in transit or once it reaches your computer. Our hope is the difficulty associated with those strategies means they will only be used by governments on terrorists and scammers, not on honest citizens,” declared Lavabit in a whitepaper posted to the its website
"I feel you deserve to know what's going on – the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this," Levinson says. "Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests."
The government is demanding from Lavabit what it has already received from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other email providers – access to all its customers’ private accounts so it can violate their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment.
And Levinson is prohibited from revealing that fact because of laws passed by Congress providing that requests for information by US intelligence agencies may include a gag order that forbids the party receiving the request, in this case Lavabit, from disclosing what information was requested, or even that a request was made at all.
Edward Snowden revealed that both Google and Microsoft have already turned over private user data to government spies under the secretive PRISM program, but the FISC won't allow them to reveal to the public what they may or may not have actually disclosed. Had Snowden not blown the whistle, we the American people would still be in the dark about it.
"This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States," Levinson warns.
Sadly, however, it was unconstitutional congressional lawmaking and judicial precedent in the first place which has added more filth to the American judicial secrecy cesspool.