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Ladar Levison was born and raised in San Francisco, California where he attended Thurgood Marshall Academic High School. Mr. Levison would eventually graduate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas with a BBA in Finance and a BA in Political Science, along with minors in Computer Science and English.
In 2004 Mr. Levison founded Nerdshack LLC; a company dedicated to providing free and private email services. Over the next ten years Mr. Levison expanded his business while renaming the company Lavabit LLC. As of August 2013, Lavabit had over 400,000 registered users, 10,000 of which paid for Mr. Levison’s services. On August 8, 2013, Mr. Levison made the difficult decision to shut down his email business after refusing “to become complicit in crimes against the American people.” Now, he balances his work for Lavabit and the Dark Mail Alliance with activism and advocacy for the protection of internet privacy.