Recently, the highly secure email service, Lavabit, shut down. It is said that Edward Snowden was probably using Lavabit’s email service while he was holed up in Moscow airport. It is believed that Lavabit came under scrutiny and committed Corporate Seppuku.
So what is Corporate Seppuku?
According to Mega CEO Vikram Kumar, “These are acts of ‘Privacy Seppuku’ – honorably and publicly shutting down (“suicide”) rather than being forced to comply with laws and courts intent on violating people’s privacy,”
Incidentally, Mega.co.nz is working on an email service that could well do the job that Lavabit was doing – without having to run the service on a US-based server.
Now a question arises: why did lavabit close down?
The CEO of Lavabit, in his post, writes:
My Fellow Users,
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…