Lavabit's Ladar Levison on Snowden, Why He Shut Down, and How to Beat the NSA

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"Let me put it this way: If one year from now, you're not using
Dark Mail, it's because you enjoy knowing the NSA is reading your
emails," says Ladar Levison, founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by
former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.After Snowden's identity became known, Levison shut down
Lavabit, posting the following message on the company website: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.Levison was prohibited from discussing any details of the case
until last October, when the court unsealed a portion of the
documents. The unsealed records reveal that the FBI was demanding
access to Lavabit's Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) keys, which would
essentially allow the agency access to all messages on Lavabit's
server. While the FBI was ostensibly targeting only a single user,
Levison was unwilling to sacrifice the privacy of his other
400,000+ users.He is still not allowed to discuss the identity of the user the
FBI hoped to target.Levison sat down with Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller at the
Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) conference to talk more about
his decision to fight the federal government, his thoughts on
Edward Snowden, and his vision for Dark Mail, a collaborative effort with
Silent Circle, another
encrypted email service that shut down in the wake of Snowden's NSA
revelations. Scroll down for downloadable versions.Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Sharif Matar.
Approximately 15 minutes.Subscribe to Reason TV's
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Video provided by Reason TV
Producer : Reason TV