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US Government coerced Lavabit shut down in effort to seize Edward Snowden emails

Lavabit website otice on shut down
Lavabit website otice on shut down

As if the abusive nature of the U.S. Government over the NSA scandal and its PRISM project wasn’t enough, the Obama administration is now doing everything in its power to seek revenge against whistleblower Edward Snowden and any company that has developed tools to mask his whereabouts.

After an unfavorable ruling in district court, Lavabit took the brave decision to shut down its e-mail encrypted company, Lavabit, rather than fork over their security keys to the U.S. government.

On their website, its owner, Ladar Levinson writes:

“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.”

Levinson goes on to say,

“…I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.”

In a CNN episode of Morgan Spurlock over the weekend, Lavabit founder exposed the price he was personally paid for refusing to hand-over Lavabit’s encryption keys over to the U.S. government. Most accurately, for refusing to give-up Snowden’s e-mail conversations.

The Fourth Circuit court of appeals ruled in favor of the U.S. government in affirming the lower court's contempt sanctions. The decision came in large part because of pressure from the Obama administration who has extended and abused its power by spying on ordinary Americans.

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to snoop on emails Edward Snowden may have sent and received from others, since Lavabit was one of the encrypted e-mail clients the whistleblower has used. Experts agree that the vengeful nature of the U.S. government is not new but has been largely expanded by the Obama administration, calling journalists spies and traitors when seeking to publish non-favorable articles on the administration's practices. It is a well-known tactic that is aimed at coercing and smearing the credibility of those who differ with the government.

Lavabit refused to do what Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Verizon did: betray the American public.

Fighting the U.S. Government for privacy concerns is expensive. You may donate via PayPal or other means mentioned on Lavabit’s website.

Meanwhile, Levinson is already working on another project, Dark Mail, that provides e-mail security with end-to-end encryption.

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