As The Grand Signal recently reported, the owner of the encrypted e-mail service Lavabit — the one which Edward Snowden reportedly used to leak the NSA scandal — has been coerced by the US government into taking his service down. His cryptic e-mail suggested unethical coercion in the government’s part that he was unwilling and unable to elaborate on.
Democracy Now recently featured an exclusive video interview with owner Ladar Levison to explain his predicament.
Speaking beside his lawyer in measured words, Levison expressed serious concerns about the US gov’ts conduct with regards to his company. He expressed that there are details with the case that he isn’t allowed even to share with his lawyer.
Hesitant to elaborate, Levison concluded with: “I think you should assume any communication that is electronic is being monitored.”
[iframe width="400" height="225" src="http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2013/8/13/exclusive_owner_of_snowdens_email_service"]
via Democracy Now
As another point of intrigue in the slowly unraveling international game of ‘Where’s Snowden?’, the e-mail service Lavabit – the one which Snowden reportedly used to leak NSA documents – has been shut down. Although a lot of blogosphere speculation has pointed fingers to the US government and the NSA, no real evidence exists to back this claim.
Lavabit owner Ladar Levison offered this cryptic reason for the site’s closure:
“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.”
The letter, notably, doesn’t offer any real indication of who it was, however the following line seriously indicates US involvement:
“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.”