You’re coming from the US National Security Letter and lavabit case.
If I have the luxury of only being threatened by paper with the option to give up the project, I can follow the lavabit example.
If I am threatened by abduction ([secret?] prison) or violence, I don’t think I have other options than comply. Since Whonix is a Free Software project and also Verifiable Builds will be ready with Whonix 8, I hope that the possible damage is small, until someone catches suspicious activity.
As a German citizen, I like to think, that US laws don’t apply to me. To my best knowledge, and I am following news on that topic, Germany doesn’t have and to my surprise doesn’t plan to introduce the equivalent of the US National Security Letter. But since Germany is currently occupied by US military, you’ll never know.*
(*Not a conspiracy theory. You can check this for yourself. You won’t find people talking about in the news or hear politicians complain. Just look how many US military bases are hosted in Germany. That map is available to the public. Horst Seehofer, big German “people party” chairman CSU, ex minister: “Diejenigen die entscheiden sind nicht gewählt und diejenigen die gewählt werden haben nichts zu entscheiden” - I freely translate: “Those who make decisions aren’t elected and the ones that are elected, may not decide”. youtube source)
Nevertheless, to my best knowledge, abduction / violence is not yet something German or US is using against their own citizen. [See the limitation, “to their own citizen”. How sad] This little luxury is worth speaking out so situation at least stays this way and improves. Useful slogan: If not you, now, who and when?