Snowden-related Email encrypting service in Texas shuts down

Internet

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas—An encrypted email service provider reportedly used by accused US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has announced it is closing and issued a warning about the trustworthiness of US-linked companies that collect individuals’ private data.

Lavabit, a Texas-based email service that claimed to have served some 350,000 users, said in a vaguely worded statement Thursday evening that it was shuttering its operations because it did not want “to become complicit in crimes against the American people,” though it said current US laws prevented the firm from disclosing the specific events that led to his decision.

“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,” Lavabit founder Ladar Levison said in the statement.

Snowden, who is wanted by US authorities on espionage charges for leaking classified details of US telephone and electronic surveillance programs, received temporary asylum in Russia last week, a move that has exacerbated already frayed ties between the two countries.

Shortly after the Lavabit announcement, another US secured-communications company announced it had “preemptively” closed its email service in order to “prevent spying.”

The company, Maryland-based Silent Circle, said that it had not been contacted by US authorities but indicated that the Lavabit closure played a role in its decision to halt its email service, Silent Mail.

“We see the writing on the wall, and we have decided that it is best for us to shut down Silent Mail,” the company said in a blog post Friday. “We have not received subpoenas, warrants, security letters, or anything else by any government, and this is why we are acting now.”

Source: RIA Novosti

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