I heard about warrant canaries and thought the idea was interesting. My understanding of what they are is a website or online service publishes a statement periodically that they have not been served a warrant. This way even with a gag order, the act of not publishing something is not infringing it. I hear warrant canaries don't actually work as a judge would likely find not publishing something to signal a warrant has been served would be in violation of a gag order.

My question is, is there an alternative to a warrant canary that would serve the same purpose (but actually work), that an online set or web service etc. has been ordered to change their behaviour by the government/police/rebels etc.? I'd imagine something Tor or P2P related could be used to spread the message "hey, we were forced to hand over user information".

Correct me if any of the above information is wrong; I'm not well versed in law, but do find this idea interesting.

  • Any communication provably originating from the gagged organization is easier to trust, but is more easily subject to legal repercussions. Anonymous communication is difficult to trust, but has less risk of successful prosecution. I believe you are looking for inductive evidence to increase credibility of an anonymous claim. – Austin Hartzheim Nov 2 '15 at 3:08
  • @AustinHartzheim yea, like an anonymous message that could only be decrypted with the gauged party's public key...or something like that. (not sure if legally it would be enough "evidence against them" if the authorities could decrypt the message with their public key, that would show they have violated the gag order). – Celeritas Nov 2 '15 at 3:42
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    IMO this belongs on law.stackexchange.com – thexacre Nov 2 '15 at 3:58
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    I'm not sure this is an InfoSec question. This seems a pure legal question. – schroeder Nov 2 '15 at 4:03
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    But you are asking for something that would be a legal alternative, not a technical one. The barrier is the law, not technology. That's why it's not an InfoSec question. – schroeder Nov 2 '15 at 4:31