Nov 26: "An Open Conversation about Internet Communications Privacy" (Ladar Levison, Lavabit founder and activist)

Special CRCS Seminar

Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Place: Maxwell Dworkin G115

Speaker: Ladar Levison, Lavabit founder and activist

Title: An Open Conversation about Internet Communications Privacy

Ladar Levison will present a short summary of his motivations for building Lavabit, the U.S. government's attempts to access the emails of his 410,000 users, and his response: challenging the government's requests in court and starting the Darkmail Alliance. He will then open the discussion to questions. This event aims to provide insight into the state of our online communications' security and the role of the U.S. government therein. Come with general questions about internet privacy, specific questions about the technical, legal, and political systems in play, or just to listen.

Ladar Levison was born and raised in San Francisco, California. After graduating from Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, he attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas. In the wake of the Patriot Act, 2004, Mr. Levison founded Nerdshack, LLC; a company dedicated to providing free and anonymous email service. Over the next ten years, Mr. Levison expanded his business and renamed the company Lavabit, LLC. As of August 2013, Lavabit had expanded to be an email service for over 400,000 users, 100,000 of which paid for Mr. Levison’s services. On August 8, 2013, Mr. Levison made the difficult decision to shut down his business after, in his words, “refusing to be complicit in crimes against the American people.” Now, he balances his work in the technology sector under the Darkmail Alliance with activism and advocacy projects for the protection of internet privacy.