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Fri Oct 25, 2013, 12:42 PM

Lavabit 'fatally undermined' by US request for encryption keys, ACLU says

Source: The Guardian

Lavabit 'fatally undermined' by US request for encryption keys, ACLU says

Dominic Rushe in New York
theguardian.com, Friday 25 October 2013 16.40 BST

The US government "fatally undermined" Lavabit, the secure email service used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, when it demanded access to encryption keys that kept the service secure, the American Civil Liberties Union said in court filings on Friday.

The ACLU has filed a "friend of the court" briefing in defence of Lavabit and its founder, Ladar Levison, who faces contempt of court charges after his decision to close down his service rather than co-operate with US authorities.

ACLU lawyer Catherine Crump said the government's "unreasonably burdensome" demands "fundamentally destroyed the company as a whole".

"Lavabit's business was predicated on offering a secure email service, and no company could possible tell its clients that it offers a secure service if its keys have been handed over to the government," Crump said.

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Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/25/lavabit-fatally-undermined-encryption-request-aclu

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