Democracy Now / screenshot by J. Mullin Ladar Levison took 10 years to build his company—and he’s 32, making that most of his adult life. So when he shut down his encrypted e-mail service, Lavabit, without warning last week, it was like “putting a beloved pet to sleep.” “I was faced with the choice of watching it suffer or putting it to sleep quietly… it was very difficult,” he told Democracy Now. “I had to pick between the lesser of two evils.” What was that other choice? “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about that,” Levison said during today’s interview. “I would like to, believe me. I think that if the American people knew what our government was doing, they wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore. My hope is that the media can uncover what’s going on without my assistance” and pressure Congress, he said. Together with Lavabit’s own efforts working through the court system, he hopes it can “put a cap on what the government is entitled to in terms of our private communications.” 2     

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