Encrypted email site forced to shut down under mysterious circumstances

Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs changed the cyber community nearly overnight, but not for the better in some cases. According to the Washington Post, an encrypted email website known as Lavabit – which Snowden is known to have used in the past – has suspended its operations pending federal litigation.

A statement published on Lavabit's website by its owner, Ladar Levison, offered few details about the shutdown. Levison acknowledges that he has "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," meaning that he may have been pressured by U.S. law enforcement officials to turn over data regarding Snowden's use of the site. No doubt the authorities investigating the activities Snowden conducted while using Lavabit will continue to push for access to the email portal, but whether Levison and his team will prevail remains to be seen.

"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," Levison wrote. "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."

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