Email service thought used by Edward Snowden shuts down amid fight over customer information

An encrypted email service believed to have been used by American fugitive Edward Snowden has shut down abruptly, amid a legal fight that appeared to involve US government attempts to win access to customer information.

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, Lavabit owner Ladar Levison wrote in a letter posted on the Texas-based company’s website.

Mr Levison said he has decided to suspend operations but was barred from discussing the events over the past six weeks that led to his decision.

That matches the period since Snowden went public as the source of media reports detailing secret electronic spying operations by the US National Security Agency.

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, Mr Levison wrote — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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