Lavabit founder asks for public help in fight for internet privacy

NSA spy 2We reported in August that secure email service Lavabit, reputedly used by Edward Snowden, chose to close down rather than ‘become complicit in crimes against the American people’. It would seem, although owner and operator of Lavabit LLC, Lader Levinson, was unable to provide details, that the NSA issued him a secret court order requiring him to hand over private data relating to customers, together with a gagging order binding him to secrecy over the matter. As Levinson said on Lavbit’s (closed) website at the time,

‘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.’

In our opinion Mr Levison is a hero for his actions, so we are pleased to announce our support for his campaign to fight the court decision. Unfortunately this will cost a great deal of money, so Levinson has set up an appeal fund for those who value the US constitution (or who value the right privacy in the face of secret NSA backed court orders in general), and wish to help his cause.

Just visit the Lavabit page, and pledge some money towards saving Lavabit as a company, and towards defending the ideals of privacy and government accountability in this era of blanket government spying programs. BestVPN has just donated $200, and we will monitor the campaign closely to see how it goes!

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

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