This gave me an idea for a more general service: a dead man's switch to help fight back in the war on security. This service would allow you to register a URL by requesting a message from it, appending your own public key to it and posting it to that URL.
Once you're registered, you tell the dead man's switch how often you plan on notifying it that you have not received a secret order, expressed in hours. Thereafter, the service sits there, quietly sending a random number to you at your specified interval, which you sign and send back as a "No secret orders yet" message. If you miss an update, it publishes that fact to an RSS feed.
The librarians took turns at the microphone at their lawyers' office and publicly identified themselves as the collective John Doe who had sued the United States attorney general after their organization received a confidential demand for patron records in a secret counterterrorism case. They had been ordered, under the threat of prosecution, not to talk about the request with anyone. The librarians, who all have leadership roles at a small consortium called Library Connection in Windsor, Conn., said they opposed allowing the government unchecked power to demand library records and were particularly incensed at having been subject to the open-ended nondisclosure order.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy who received a National Security Letter. The letter said that he couldn't tell anyone, but he was scared so he told his mommy and daddy. The government found out and none of them were ever seen or heard from again. Some people say that they went to a secret prison somewhere overseas, but most people don't talk about it at all.
\ / librarian = FTW
|| CE N'EST ||
|| PAS UN ||
\\ SIGNE //
____ _/ _)_)
' | (_)
mx | |
No one's ever tested this approach in court, and I can't say whether a judge would be able to distinguish between "not revealing a secret order" and "failing to note the absence of a secret order"...