Lavabit gets new crypto key, gives users 72 hours to recover e-mails

Former users of the Lavabit encrypted e-mail service have until Thursday night to change their passwords so they can recover data that has been unavailable since the site abruptly shut down two months ago.

Lavabit founder Ladar Levison said he was temporarily reinstating the service after obtaining a newly secured SSL key used to authenticate his server and encrypt data traveling to and from the site. Levison defiantly closed down the site after the US government obtained a court order demanding that it turn over its previous private SSL key. In a statement published Monday night, Levison acknowledged that the shutdown caused problems for many users, including him.

"For those who used Lavabit's e-mail service, they were left without a way to access information after the shutdown," the statement read. "When asked about how his users felt about the loss of personal data, Mr. Levison said, 'I'm in the same boat as them. I used my Lavabit e-mail account for 10 years. It was my only e-mail account.'"

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