E-mail provider linked to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden closes

By on August 9, 2013, 9:15 AM
nsa, e-mail, edward snowden, email provider, lavabit

An e-mail provider publically linked to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has shut down shop amid fears of becoming “complicit in crimes against the American people.”

Lavabit, a provider that’s been around for nearly 10 years and boasts 350,000 users, gained a ton of notoriety when it became known that Snowden was using the service. When Snowden sent out messages inviting human rights activists to meet with him during his stint in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, they reportedly came from the e-mail address edsnowden@lavabit.com.

The owner of Lavabit, Ladar Levison, left visitors with a notice on his website announcing the closure. In it, Levison said he has been forced to make the difficult decision to shut down Lavabit. He said he wished he could legally share with readers the events that led to the decision but that simply isn’t possible.

Levison said the first amendment is supposed to guarantee him the freedom to speak out in situations like this but unfortunately, laws passed by Congress say otherwise.

As for what’s next for Levison, he said he’s already started preparing the paperwork needed to keep the fight alive. A favorable decision would allow him to reopen Lavabit as an American company. There’s no timetable on when that may or may not happen, however. Until then, he strongly recommends against anyone trusting private data with a company with physical ties to the US.

Those interested in checking out what Lavabit had to offer can still do so thanks to cached pages from Google.

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