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Lavabit gives users a brief chance to download their lost email

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Ladar Levison of Lavabit
Ladar Levison of Lavabit

Lavabit CEO Ladar Levison was forced into a difficult decision: give the FBI access to all his customers' email, or shut down his business. He chose to pull the plug — but in so doing, left those same paying customers without access to their stored conversations. Now, Lavabit hopes to give that data back. Starting today at 7PM Central, users have a 72 hour window to change their password in case it was compromised, and get a new SSL key in return. On Friday, October 18th at 7PM Central, users should be able to download an archive of their stored email messages.

It's not clear how long the download option will be available, but given the short window of opportunity for users to change their passwords and the threat of further legal action, we suspect it won't be long before Lavabit's website disappears once again.