Edward Snowden’s E-mail Provider Forced to Shut Down

BigBrotherObamThe secure E-mail provider Lavabit, whose users are said to include Edward Snowden, shut down on Wednesday for reasons that are verboten. An ominous message on the company’s homepage vows to fight for the Constitution:

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.

Ladar Levison
Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC

Defending the constitution is expensive! Help us by donating to the Lavabit Legal Defense Fund here.”

30 Comments on "Edward Snowden’s E-mail Provider Forced to Shut Down"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Aug 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm |

    Fascism, it’s what’s for dinner.

  2. DeepCough | Aug 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm |

    The “War On Internets” has begun…….

  3. Silent Circle, which was covered by Disinfo a few months back, is also shutting down.

    Apparently for similar reasons.

  4. BuzzCoastin | Aug 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm |

    if all this spying actually lead to the capture of terrorists
    Bush, Cheney, Obama et al, would already be in Prison USA Inc
    and there would be whirled peace

    what all this spying does lead to
    is more lucrative contracts to the Carlye Group for asshole searching software
    and more bluster from the Wizard of Homeland Security

  5. Jonas Planck | Aug 9, 2013 at 6:03 pm |

    If this keeps up, it won’t be long before people just start walking strait through those NDAs and leaking everything to as many third parties as they can find. A few high-profile revelations anonymously dropped cease to be “classified” once they fall into the hands of people that WEREN’T given a gag order.

  6. Ted Heistman | Aug 10, 2013 at 6:14 am |


  7. Ted Heistman | Aug 10, 2013 at 6:24 am |

    Unlike Hitler this guy brings minorities on board. I have some gay aquaintances and relatives that are really pro- Obama. All the Feminists seem to be really pro-Obama. So its like Women, gays and minorities are pretty much his. They will just give everything a pass.

    There are a lot of young hip Libertarians out there but they are mostly white. Are we gonna get a fascism that is only opposed by bitter white dudes?

    I don’t think Obama is like Hitler though in the sense of Rising to Power and taking over shit. I think he is a tool. But I just hate seeing this plan work so well of a Black Manchurian Candidate.

    • The equally sad part is watching people suddenly care now…this late in the game…when all the groundwork was laid for this across four previous presidencies, D and R alike, and each time the office changes hands the people who have something to say switch over. 8 years of Bush…total silence from the right except applause…8 years of Clinton…total silence from the left. Everyone gets so busy high fiving their ‘team’ that they can’t unite to stem the tide of governmental overreach and corruption…which remains no matter who wears the boss hat for a few years.

      My aunt spent the entirety of the Bush admin swooning with joy over every press conference…and cursing the protesters and naysayers as traitors. Within days of Obama’s election, she developed an overriding certainty that our government was out of control and that our leadership was corrupt and compromised. I actually thought I could hear the transmission in her brain pinging from overexertion after shifting gears that fast.

      Likewise my friends on the D side of the aisle…8 years protesting Bush/Cheney/Halliburton/Patriot Act/Guantanamo etc…and within minutes of a black Democrat taking office they threw their signs away, shrugged, and muttered “I’m sure he’ll take care of it.” Here we are past five years later…and they can’t bear the idea that just maybe the Stooge in Chief and government in general needs a vast trimming and massive oversight and accountability forced upon it. The main reason they won’t act: it would hurt their ‘teams’ position at this time. Pathetic.

      And PS: I’m gay. I’m as far from a fan of Obama as a man can get and I’m not alone among gay people in criticizing a presidency that hasn’t been about reform…but about entrenchment of existing policies and even further overreach. Be cautious in throwing around blanket statements on other people’s behalf.

      • Ted Heistman | Aug 11, 2013 at 6:50 am |

        well thanks for your perspective. I pretty much totally agree. I wonder though if Obama legalized pot if all the Libertarians would then fall asleep too!

        • Amen dude. I’ve worried about the same thing. I don’t think its coincidental that, at the moment when American’s are most discontented with government overreach, a few trophy gifts are dangled in front of them to maintain the illusion of progress or reform. So a few gay people get married, or a few stoners don’t go to prison…big effin deal. It does nothing to change a decades long slide into authoritarianism. These are just ornaments on a Christmas tree thats being lugged to the curb.

          Am I happy that there are places where gay people can marry or stoners can get high without feeding a prison for profit system…sure, good for them…but do I think that makes a difference in core issues that need immediate addressing? Hell, no.

    • atlanticus | Aug 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

      “So its like Women, gays and minorities are pretty much his.”

      You’re obviously living in a parallel universe to mine, but go ahead and believe that what you see in your home town is representative of the nation as a whole. It’s easier for the gubmint’ that way.

      And libertarianism only seems white and male because those are the only ones willing to call themselves by that term. Practically all other libertarians (at least in my state, that’s practically everyone who thinks at all) do not want to be associated with that moniker because…well, male-and-white.

      • Ted Heistman | Aug 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |

        Yeah, I live in some weird universe where democrats support a president they elected twice. Its called reality.

        • atlanticus | Aug 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

          I’m just letting you know that your reality is not my reality. In some places it is in fact, not reality. It’s a big country.

          I don’t have TV or follow main-stream media in any way, so I understand that my town may be some weird bubble, but literally ALL of the people I know are not pro-Obama. Even the ones who voted for him are not pro now…and pretty much all of my friends are queer or rockers or artists or multi-ethnic or sometimes all of the above.

        • atlanticus | Aug 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm |

          What I am taking issue with is your assertion that if one falls into one of your categories (i.e. “Women, gays and minorities”), than they MUST BE democrats.

          This isn’t always true.

  8. I’d be upset, but I was never once under the illusion that encrypted email was ‘secure’. If anything, encryption is like flying a flag that says ‘Secret stuff here!’ and sends spooks into a frenzy to figure out what your up to that requires so much secrecy. The NSA and other agencies have never respected any part of your privacy, virtual or otherwise, and the only thing I look on with pleasure is that people are finally becoming more conscious of how very little privacy they actually have.

    A part of the human brain operates on automatic pilot unless interrupted. There’s a very common assumption that, just because you aren’t doing anything wrong, therefore no one will compromise your privacy…and even if they did…they’d walk away afterwards and destroy the records of it in a prudent and appropriate fashion. Finding out that you are constantly scanned, checked, observed and filed away for future reference is a bit offputting for people who feel that the system is inherently fair in some way…or it would have been dealt with by now. It isn’t fair, it isn’t even sane, and it hasn’t been dealt with because a lot of overtime has been put in over the last few decades to assure people that all was well and there was nothing to worry about.

    I accept government as a necessary evil, compared to the nightmare pastiche of what happens in the absence of one, but government is only ever one of two things…a weapon in the hands of citizens that beats down those forces arrayed against them and against basic civilization…or a weapon in the hands of those forces, wielded instead to smash the citizen into submission. Guess which type we have now?

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