Internet Law, First Amendment, warrant canary, transparency, five eyes, national security, compelled speech, constitution
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.
Jonathon W. Penney, “Warrant Canaries Beyond the First Amendment: A Comment” (2014) in Urs Gasser et al, eds, Internet Monitor 2014: Reflections on the Digital World: Platforms, Policy, Privacy, and Public Discourse, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (Boston: Harvard University, 2014).