Ladar Levison was born and raised in San Francisco, California. After graduating from Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, he attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas. In the wake of the Patriot Act, 2004, Mr. Levison founded Nerdshack, LLC; a company dedicated to providing free and anonymous email service. Over the next ten years, Mr. Levison expanded his business and renamed the company Lavabit, LLC. As of August 2013, Lavabit had expanded to be an email service for over 400,000 users, 100,000 of which paid for Mr. Levison’s services. Levison ran the email service used by Edward Snowden, the infamous leaker of National Security Agency secrets. On August 8, 2013, Mr. Levison made the difficult decision to shut down his business after, in his words, “refusing to be complicit in crimes against the American people.” Now, he balances his work in the technology sector under the Darkmail Alliance with activism and advocacy projects for the protection of internet privacy.