A Texas-based secure email service reportedly used by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says it is shutting down and can't legally explain why.
In a cryptic note posted Thursday to the Lavabit website, owner Ladar Levison said the company is folding rather than becoming, in his words, "complicit in crimes against the American people."
Blaming laws passed by Congress for his inability to discuss details, Levison says that the he has struggled with the choice for six weeks, while making requests to share his experiences. Levison could not be reached for comment.
According to the Global Post, Lavabit's link to Snowden was reportedly made while coordinating an appearance at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport in July.
Levison's post doesn't elaborate, but Snowden's disclosures have focused attention on how the U.S. government can secretly compel companies to hand over customer information and gag them from talking about it.
Lavabit's information may be of interest to investigators chasing Snowden's leaks. Public records show that someone going by "Ed Snowden" registered three addresses with the Dallas firm over the past four years.