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Ladar Levison

Born: c. 1979
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Computer Programmer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Founder of Lavabit

Owned and operated an encrypted email service, Lavabit, which grew to a userbase of over 400,000 users. Unfortunately, one of those users was whistleblower Edward Snowden, prompting a secret search warrant. The architecture of Lavabit required Levison give to the government a central corporate key which permitted access to every customer email transmitted through the service. Facing this possibility, in 2013 he did the most admirable thing possible, shutting down the service.

    High School: Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, San Francisco, CA
    University: Southern Methodist University (2001)

    Lavabit LLC Founder (2004-13)



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