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Lavabit Suspends Operations

The encrypted email service Lavabitused by Ed Snowden, has suspended operations. The farewell message is all sorts of creepy.

My Fellow Users,

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. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. 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. 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.

What’s going to happen now? We’ve already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company.

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.

Ladar Levison
Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC

Defending the constitution is expensive! Help us by donating to the Lavabit Legal Defense Fund here.

via Ars Technica

Update (8/14/2013): Lavabit founder, under gag order, speaks out about shut-down decision via Ars Technica

The founder of Lavabit, the company whose encrypted email service Ed Snowden (and ~400k other users) was using is under a gag order so strong that he can’t even share everything with his lawyer:

“There’s information that I can’t even share with my lawyer, let alone with the American public. So, if we’re talking about secrecy, you know, it’s really been taken to the extreme, and I think it’s really being used by the current administration to cover up tactics that they may be ashamed of…”

Law practitioners/experts, is this really possible?



August 8, 2013 - Posted by | Events, News

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