Snowden's Email Service Quickly Shuts Down
Lavabit apparently refused to work with US government
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2013 6:51 PM CDT
This Sunday, June 9, 2013, file photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, in Hong Kong.    (AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File)

(Newser) – An email service apparently used by Edward Snowden has opted to shut down after an unpleasant encounter with the US government, the Guardian reports. Called Lavabit, the service seems to have refused a court order to let the feds spy on its customers. "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," wrote founder Ladar Levison. He went on:

  • "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."
Privacy advocates say it's the first email company to close shop rather than comply with US surveillance. Levison now plans to fight the US government in court and eventually reopen Lavabit, which claimed 350,000 customers and was known for its rigorous security features.

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Aug 10, 2013 10:43 PM CDT
Snowden's accusation have brought to light how government can quickly get out of control. They use a disaster to implement their plans to violate our rights at a time when many citizens feel vulnerable. This man has ruined his life and will probably be assassinated at some time in the future, to get the news out about the governments violations. I think we owe him at least our thanks for that.
Aug 10, 2013 11:54 AM CDT
One of the most patriotic people ever. I wish you the best of luck in your battle. May some big corporations, such as Google, help you in your struggle for American freedoms.
Aug 9, 2013 7:01 PM CDT
lavabit, lavabit, rha rha rha, lavabit, lavabit. rha, rha, rha, lavabit, lavabit, rha rha rha. go underdog.