U.S. based secure email provider Lavabit has been fighting its government for months now, after shutting down to avoid having to provide information about its clients. But, unable to fight any longer, it finally relinquished its SSL keys — in a less-than-readable font size.
It seems like a troll move. But, known for his stance on a free internet, Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is clearly not joking around when putting any obstacle he can in the government’s path of snooping on his email clients. The provider was set up with total security in mind for its users, and Levison claims that handing over his encryption keys would “compromise all of the secure communications in and out of my network, including my own administrative traffic.”
The specific user targeted by the government is thought to be Edward Snowden, a user of the service. And, indeed, Lavabit shut down very soon after a steady trickle of revelations dominated the news cycle with NSA overreach and abuse of powers.
While funny, the move doesn’t seem to have achieved much, with the judge in charge holding Lavabit in contempt of court. But speaking to Ars Technica, Levison said he hadn’t even read the court’s opinion, and had been concentrating on his new venture, the Dark Mail Technical Alliance — which, similar to Kim Dotcom’s upcoming Mega email service, will feature end-to-end encryption with even the admins unable to provide access to snoops.
[Opened Mail] via Shutterstock