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

See all articles by Jon Penney

Jon Penney

Harvard Law School; Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Citizen Lab, University of Toronto

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, Jonathon, 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)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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

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

Citizen Lab, University of Toronto ( email )

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

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