Edward Snowden’s Email Provider Shut Down Rather Than Comply With Feds

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By Micah Naziri

My fellow Cincinnatian Michael Ramsur clued me in to the following letter, by way of Adam Estes of JewsNews.com

Estes explains that Edward Snowden’s email provider, Lavabit were threatened by the US Federal government to shut down the exiled whistleblower’s email account, or face shut down themselves.

He relays that in a note posted on lavabit.com, Ladar Levison explains little more than that, going into very little detail about what compelled him to shut down his service so abruptly, apart from implying that the Federal government had backed him into the corner

According to Levison, he had no other choice but to shut it down or comply. The note in full is reprinted below:

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.

Sincerely,Ladar LevisonOwner and Operator, Lavabit LLC

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