In our series of blog posts on the relationship between companies and governments, we will this time look at companies that stand up against crime and abuses.
One well-known example lately is the US company Lavabit. When Lavabit was forced to participate in what they and many others believe to be criminal activities, the founder decided to instead shut down the company’s operations. However, the government’s abuse of power goes even further than destroying the company, because the founder Ladar Levison is obviously under a so-called gag order, so he cannot say much about what happened. Despite this, he tries to say as much as he can.
Newspapers and other media also often stand up against crime and abuses, by publishing information about it. It is their job to do that, and a very important job. How can democracy work, if ordinary citizens are withheld information about government-related crime and abuse of power? It can’t, of course. Therefore it is very disturbing that even media can secretly be issued a gag order, be infiltrated or be censored, even in countries often viewed as democracies, such as Israel.
When governments try to destroy companies like these, they are actually be attacking the foundation of democracy. We owe a tribute to all who stand up against that.