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Tech law blog Groklaw shuts down, cites surveillance concerns

Groklaw, a blog that focuses on technology law, shut down, according to an announcement from its founder.


The Department of Homeland Security's logo reflected in the glasses of a cyber security analyst.

Mark J. Terrill/ AP Photo/ File

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The tech legal news blog Groklaw is shutting down due to concerns over privacy, according to a statement Tuesday made by the company’s founder, Pamela Jones.

“The owner of Lavabit tells us that he’s stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we’d stop too,” writes Ms. Jones, referencing Lavabit’s shutdown earlier this August. “There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.”

Groklaw was Jones’ first foray into blogging, according to an interview Jones gave in 2003 several months after founding the site. As the blog took off, it became an award-winning blog recognized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Bar Association. Groklaw was funded by the Free and Open-Source Software community, according to its website. Groklaw also relied heavily on user collaboration for its content, a factor that played into Jones’ decision to close the site.

“I can’t do Groklaw without your input,” writes Jones in the blog entry. “It was really a collaborative effort, and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate.”

Jones likened her frustrations with government surveillance to the time when a thief broke into her apartment, took small pieces of family jewelry, went through her underwear drawer, and then left. “I feel like that now, knowing that persons I don’t know can paw through all my thoughts and hopes and plans in my emails with you,” Jones writes to her readers.


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