The secure email service Lavabit, reportedly used by former security contractor Edward Snowden, announced on its website Thursday that it was shutting down operations as it prepares paperwork for an court battle, according to the Washington Post.
The website's homepage featured a statement from founder and owner Ladar Levison that offered few concrete details on what legal problems the company faces:
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. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.
What’s going to happen now? We’ve already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company.
An invitation to a July meeting of human rights organizations in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, which Human Rights Watch's Tanya Lokshina had posted to her Facebook page, appeared to be sent from a Lavabit email address belonging to Snowden.