Lavabit founder Levison: decision to close was like 'putting a beloved pet to sleep'

Amy Goodman at Democracy Now interviewed Ladar Levison, founder/owner/operator of Lavabit, the security-focused email service Edward Snowden used to invite attendees to a Moscow press conference; the service was abruptly closed last week with an explanation pointing to US government interference. He joined the show from Washington DC with his lawyer, Jesse Binnall. Goodman asks Levison to explain why he closed the company:

LADAR LEVISON: I've compared the decision to that of, you know, putting a beloved pet to sleep, you know, faced with the choice of watching it suffer or putting it to sleep quietly. It was a very difficult decision. But I felt that in the end I had to pick between the lesser of two evils and that shutting down the service, if it was no longer secure, was the better option. It was, in effect, the lesser of the two evils.

AMY GOODMAN: What are you facing? When you say "the lesser of two evils," what was the other choice?

LADAR LEVISON: Unfortunately, I can't talk about that. I would like to, believe me. I think if the American public knew what our government was doing, they wouldn't be allowed to do it anymore, which is why I'm here in D.C. today speaking to you. My hope is that, you know, the media can uncover what's going on, without my assistance, and, you know, sort of pressure both Congress and our efforts through the court system to, in effect, put a cap on what it is the government is entitled to in terms of our private communications.

View or read the transcript here. Video is embedded below.