The email provider used by Edward Snowden (and many other privacy-conscious folks) has shut down to avoid becoming "complicit in crimes against the American people."

My initial guess is this scenario happened: FBI serves Lavabit with federal court order to intercept users' (Snowden?) passwords. This happened with Hushmail circa 2007. The order can also be to install FedGov-created malware. Lavabit fights FBI surveillance demand in district court for the last six weeks, loses. Shuts down to avoid compliance while simultaneously appealing to the 4th Circuit.

It likely wasn't a national security letter (NSL) because those are limited in scope and don't apply to prospective surveillance, meaning a shutdown wouldn't accomplish anything.
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