Don’t trust private data to a company with physical ties to the US,warns Lavabit owner

In the aftermath of the Snowden affair,  “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,”

levThat’s  Ladar Levison, owner of Lavabit, the Texas encrypted email service used by Snowden.

“I would strongly, recommend against anyone  trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States, ” Levison declarers in his farewell post,

Snowden, an ex-CI contractor, hailed by many as a hero, leaked documents about top-secret US  surveillance programs,

Now,  “After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations …”  Levison says going on »»»

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.

(Cheers, Lawrence)

Sincerely,
Ladar Levison
Owner and Operator, Lavabit LL

Founded in 2004

Lavabit was founded in 2004 and was owned/operated by Ladar Levison, says Jason Mick in DailyTech, adding:

” It offered free accounts of 128 megabytes, and paid accounts up to 8 GB.  As of July 2013, it had a reported 350,000 customers.  Among them — allegedly — was Edward Snowden, the man who leaked secrets of the U.S. National Surveillance Agency’s ubiquitous surveillance of millions of Americans.

“Not long after Edward Snowden’s usage of the service was revealed at a July 12 press conference, Lavabit reportedly received either a national security letter (NSL) — a warrantless demand for citizen data — or a full-blown search/eavesdropping warrant — both of which are sealed under gag order.  While unable to talk about the demand publicly, under threat of prosecution, Mr. Levison fought the government for six weeks with internal appeals seeking to protect his customers’ privacy.”

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