Security Market Segment LS


JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 3653
Friday, 09 August 2013 14:15

Snowden's email service shuts down in protest Featured

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's email service of choice, Lavabit, has shut down, refusing to be "complicit in crimes against the American people."

The news came in the form of a letter from founder Ladar Levison (full text below), who said he had to decide between being "complicit in crimes against the American people" or "walking away after nearly ten years of hard work."

He chose to walk away.

Lavabit is a free email service that offered increased security and privacy options compared to more popular options like Gmail, and was used by Edward Snowden when he notified reporters of a press conference from Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.

Levison said in the statement that he rejected a US court order to cooperate with the government in spying on users, and slammed Congress for trashing the first amendment of the US Constitution.

The news follows confirmation that US President Barack Obama cancelled his planned one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladamir Putin over Russia's decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum. Snowden has been charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property after releasing details of the US's extensive surveillance program on its citizens.

Lavabit claimed to have 350,000 users and is seemingly the first company to have publicly closed down in protest rather than co-operate with state surveillance programs.

The message from Lavabit's founder and operator Ladar Levison reads as follows:

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.

For more information on the ongoing NSA scandal see iTWire's coverage here.


26-27 February 2020 | Hilton Brisbane

Connecting the region’s leading data analytics professionals to drive and inspire your future strategy

Leading the data analytics division has never been easy, but now the challenge is on to remain ahead of the competition and reap the massive rewards as a strategic executive.

Do you want to leverage data governance as an enabler?Are you working at driving AI/ML implementation?

Want to stay abreast of data privacy and AI ethics requirements? Are you working hard to push predictive analytics to the limits?

With so much to keep on top of in such a rapidly changing technology space, collaboration is key to success. You don't need to struggle alone, network and share your struggles as well as your tips for success at CDAO Brisbane.

Discover how your peers have tackled the very same issues you face daily. Network with over 140 of your peers and hear from the leading professionals in your industry. Leverage this community of data and analytics enthusiasts to advance your strategy to the next level.

Download the Agenda to find out more




Recent Comments