Ladar Levison Loses Appeal

A Sense of Security

Lavabit

Ladar Levison, owner and operator of encrypted e-mail service Lavabit, lost his case in the US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Lavabit landed on the US Government’s radar when former NSA-consultant, Edward Snowden used a Lavabit e-mail address to invite press and human rights activists to a press conference.  The United States government obtained a warrant that ordered Levison to turn over the private SSL keys for Lavabit.  Essentially, instead of issuing a subpoena for Snowden’s account information, the government wanted the “keys” to Lavabit’s kingdom.  Levison had a history of complying with other subpoenas, often turning over information requested about specific individuals, but this order was going too far for Levison.  Ladar eventually complied with the order by printing out his SSL key on 10+ pages in 5-point font. Ladar essentially complied with the order, but the SSL key on paper was absolutely useless and was found in contempt of…

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