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The 'warrant canary' in Apple's compliance report


There was an interesting nugget we glanced over regarding Apple's report detailing its compliance with various government information requests.

In the Notes section of the report, located at the very bottom, Apple writes:

Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us.

So why is that so interesting?

Well, if Apple had in fact received an order under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, it wouldn't be legally allowed to admit it. Consequently, if the aforementioned language is removed in future compliance reports from Apple, it would stand to reason that Apple had since received an order under the Patriot Act.

And apparently, this clever little number is referred to as a warrant canary.

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