Skip to main content

New Website Monitors Warrant Canaries


  Since the publication of Edward Snowden’s revelations concerning NSA surveillance, there has been a heightened interest in the use of “warrant canaries.” A warrant canary is a notice posted by an internet service provider saying that the provider has not received any government requests that it would not be allowed to divulge. If the notice is discontinued, users can reasonably infer that the provider has received such a request. The “canary” in the name comes from the use of canaries to detect toxic gas in coal mines. Examples of the kinds of requests a provider would be prohibited from divulging include orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—such as those used in the NSA’s PRISM and telephony metadata collection programs—and national security letters issued by the FBI.

Because it can be difficult to keep up with warrant canaries, or even to find out which service providers use them, a coalition called Canarywatch has launched a new website that tracks warrant canaries and keeps readers up to date on the latest developments. The coalition includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, NYU’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic, and the Calyx Institute. For more information on this project, and on warrant canaries generally, see the website’s FAQ page

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …