If you haven't heard of Lavabit or Levison, then you've certainly heard of Lavabit's most famous user -- Edward Snowden. America's notorious whistleblower used Lavabit to invite reporters to Moscow, which caught the attention of the Feds.
Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines privacy as "freedom from unauthorized intrusion." The United States government defines privacy as "freedom from unauthorized intrusion, except by us." Personally I prefer the former definition.