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I’ve been thinking about warrant canaries lately — I maintain them here at KN@PPSTER and also at the Garrison Center.

The idea behind a warrant canary is that the feds have a habit the last few years of issuing “National Security Letters” demanding information from web site operators, etc. and forbidding them to disclose the fact of that demand. A warrant canary is a reverse engineer kind of thing. If it is updated, it means there’s been no such demand. If it isn’t, anyone who notices can assume that there has been such a demand. So all the victim has to do is not act to communicate the fact of a federal demand.

So anyway, I was thinking recently about the fact that the feds are not required to be truthful in any way, shape, manner or form. They’re free to lie their asses off to get something they’re after. So what’s to stop them from just fraudulently updating a victim’s warrant canary themselves?

It’s hard to come up with a perfect solution to such a thing, but I have added an extra layer of verifiability to both the aforementioned warrant canaries. They are now PGP-signed and will be signed each time they are updated. My latest PGP key (fingerprint: 39EF 85F2 53CA C3B0 476A DF0B 2ECC E0C6 B0ED 3584) is available elsewhere on this blog and I will paste it in at the bottom of this post as well.

But how do you know I’m not just a fed making this up? You don’t — but I have sent private, encrypted messages to two readers — Darryl W. Perry and MamaLiberty — with what I hope are sufficient bona fides of my identity to establish the trustworthiness of the key. So if you don’t already have my key saved and/or don’t trust it, and if you doubt that the PGP signature on the canary is really me, you could presumably contact one of them and ask them to verify the signature. Not foolproof (and please don’t fill their mailboxes up with requests just for the hell of it), but a start.

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Imported from the original KN@PPSTER