Filed under: First Amendment Issues
Lavabit, email service Snowden reportedly used, abruptly shuts down
by Xeni Jardin
August 8, 2013
Remember when word circulated that Edward Snowden was using Lavabit, an email service that purports to provide better privacy and security for users than popular web-based free services like Gmail? Lavabit’s owner has shut down the service, and posted a message on the lavabit.com home page today about wanting to avoid “being complicit in crimes against the American people.”
According to the statement, it appears he rejected a US court order to cooperate with the government in spying on users.
The email service offered various security features to a claimed user base of 350,000, and is the first such firm to have publicly and transparently closed down, rather than cooperate with state surveillance programs. The email address Snowden (or someone sending emails on his behalf) is reported to have used to send invites to a press conference at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in mid-July was a Lavabit account.
Read the full message from Lavabit’s founder and operator Ladar Levison here.