Warrant Canaries Beyond the First Amendment: A Comment

in Urs Gasser, Jonathan Zittrain, Robert Faris & Rebekah H. Jones (eds.), Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World: Platforms, Policy, Privacy, and Public Discourse, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University 49 (2014)

Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-17

4 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2016  

Jon Penney

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute; Citizen Lab, University of Toronto; Princeton University - Center for Information Technology Policy; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2014

Abstract

Warrant canaries have emerged as an intriguing tool for Internet companies to provide some measure of transparency for users while also complying with national security laws. Though there is at least a reasonable argument for the legality of warrant canaries in the U.S. based primarily on First Amendment "compelled speech" doctrine, the same cannot be said for the use of warrant canaries in other "Five Eyes” intelligence agency countries — United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia — where the legality of warrant canaries has yet to be examined in either cases or scholarship. This comment, which provides an overview of their potential legality in these jurisdiction, aims to help fill that void.

Keywords: First Amendment, warrant canary, transparency, five eyes, national security, compelled speech, constitution

JEL Classification: K40, P37

Suggested Citation

Penney, Jon, Warrant Canaries Beyond the First Amendment: A Comment (November 1, 2014). in Urs Gasser, Jonathan Zittrain, Robert Faris & Rebekah H. Jones (eds.), Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World: Platforms, Policy, Privacy, and Public Discourse, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University 49 (2014); Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2869583

Jonathon Penney (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Citizen Lab, University of Toronto ( email )

Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7
Canada

Princeton University - Center for Information Technology Policy ( email )

C231A E-Quad
Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA Nova Scotia 02138
Canada

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Canada

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