I just watched this Reason.TV video of Ladar Levison (founder of Lavabit, the successful secure email provider he chose to shut down rather than comply with the FBI’s efforts to compromise the privacy of his users).
It was inspiring, and I’m very happy that there are people like him around, helping us to maintain a shred of privacy.
I’m also intrigued by the Darkmail Technical Alliance he’s promoting, along with the principals from Silent Circle (which also shut down their secure email service rather than compromise privacy).
Secure electronic mail that’s easy enough for non-technical people to use will be challenging to develop and it could be even more challenging to achieve widespread adoption.
I wish them luck.
My answer to the title of this post is “YES!”, I think we do have the right to a private conversation, and I hope we’ll all be able to exercise that right without having to take heroic measures in order to do so.