THE EMAIL SERVICE Lavabit, which shut down in the wake of Edward Snowden's NSA whistleblowing revelations, is briefly reopening its servers to users.
Lavabit is run by Ladar Levison, who has been plunged into a Kafkaesque legal battle in which he is damned if he talks and damned if he doesn't.
Rather than hand over all of his users' encrypted communications traffic to US law enforcement agencies he decided to shut down the service, and it has been shut down ever since.
The service was shuttered in August, and since then Levinson has asked for help with funding his legal defence.
Now he has annonced plans to reopen access to the servers, briefly, and with some security hoops to jump through.
"To begin this process, the user will first be allowed to change their password during a 72 hour period, beginning tonight at 7:00 PM Central. This step was created due to recent events in the news that have lead people to believe that their account information may have been compromised," said a short note on the Lavabit website.
"If users are indeed concerned that their account information has been compromised, this will allow them to change their account password on a website with a newly secured SSL key."
After this 72 hour period, which ends on 17 October, users will be granted access to "their email archives and their personal account data".
Levison knows how his users must feel and said that he has been parted from his messages too. "I'm in the same boat as them. I used my Lavabit email account for 10 years," he said. "It was my only email account." µ
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