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Lavabit, Snowden's email service shut down, owner muzzled
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darkhorse Offline

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Lavabit, Snowden's email service shut down, owner muzzled
Lavabit, Snowden's email service, abruptly shuts down amid court battle

Press TV, Friday, August 9, 2013.

[Image: noorani20130809011711263.jpg]
The email service company that provided secure emails to users, including Edward Snowden, has suddenly shut down, apparently for refusing to cooperate with U.S. government the in surveillance of its customers.

"I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot," Ladar Levison, founder and owner of Lavabit wrote in a message on Lavabit’s website. "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."

Lavabit which provided paid services for almost unbreakable email encryption, claimed to have 350,000 customers and was used by Edward Snowden to store sensitive NSA information, according to The Huffington Post

Unlike giant tech companies like Yahoo! and Gmail, Lavabit did not collect data of its customers.

Snowden, the former National Security Agency systems analyst who leaked top US secret spying documents, used Lavabit to store the messages he sent since arriving in Russia, a Human Rights Watch worker who was in touch with him said.

Levison also said that the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance law prevents him from explaining why he is closing his company. The law has banned Google and other Internet companies from disclosing details of government email records requests under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"We’ve already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals," Levison wrote. "A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company."

In his message on Lavabit he concluded “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.”

Link to Original Article
08-09-2013 06:19 PM
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