Secret email website of Edward Snowden shut down

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After pressure from the US authorities, an encrypted email service – which is believed to have been used by US leaker Edward Snowden – has been shut down. Ladar Levison, owner of Lavabit, posted a message on the website telling users that he was pulling the plug on the secure email service which was launched in Texas about ten years ago.

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Levison said, “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly 10 years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit”. The owner went on to say that after significant soul searching, he decided to stop operations.

Levison also stated that he was not supposed to share any details of what prompted closing of Lavabit. National security officials are allowed to make requests to companies which come with the caveat they have to keep as a secret. The founder of Lavabit added that according to the current situation, he cannot share his experiences over the last six weeks, even though he twice made the appropriate requests.

The website received attention after it was reported that former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was using the service to exchange messages while he was in a Moscow airport.

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