A Critique Of Lavabit

In August of this year, Ladar Levison shut down his email service, Lavabit, in an attempt to avoid complying with a US government
request for his users’ emails. To defy the US government’s gag order and shut down his service took
great courage, and I believe that Ladar deserves our support in his legal defense of that decision.

There is now an effort underway to restart the Lavabit project, however, which might be a good opportunity to take a critical look at
the service itself. After all, how is it possible that a service which wasn’t supposed to have access to its
users’ emails found itself in a position where it had no other option but to shut down in an attempt to avoid
complying with a request for the contents of its users’ emails?