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[liberationtech] Naive Question

Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb ei8fdb at
Mon Sep 9 09:37:32 PDT 2013

On 9 Sep 2013, at 17:29, Scott Arciszewski <kobrasrealm at> wrote:

> Hello,
> I saw this article on The Guardian[1] and it mentioned a librarian who posted a sign that looked like this: and would remove it if visited by the FBI. So a naive question comes to mind: If I operated an internet service, and I posted a thing that says "We have not received a request to spy on our users. Watch closely for the removal of this text," what legal risk would be incurred?
> If the answer is "None" or "Very little", what's stopping people from doing this?

Hi Scott,

There was a discussion on another list (either Cypherpunks, or The Guardian Project lists) about a similar idea in terms of Lavabit, in the context of putting a header in e-mail messages to warn if an LEA (law enforcement agency) had forced the mail operator to give them access . From memory the person who mentioned them called them "canary alerts"?

No doubt someone will be faster than me in finding said content, but from memory the crux of it was if the operator (in your case the librarian, or more likely the library owner) was served with a NSL, or some secretive order, they would be breaching the secrecy of said order if they alerted the public in anyway. And presumably you'd be "in trouble". :)

Let me find the original mail if possible.

Hope that helps.

Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb

IO91XM /

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