Almost every day, a new revelation shows that the government has been lying about the extent to which it spies on us. One way they spy on us is by ordering web service companies to hand over their customers' private, personal information.
Companies can be ordered to hand over customers' information, and to not reveal that they have been ordered to hand it over. Lately, several small, specialized web service companies have gone out
of business rather than turn over their customers' information to the
An idea for getting around this is to use something called a "dead man's switch".
At regular intervals, you'd post a notice that you have not received a secret government order to hand over information. Then, if one day you say nothing, your customers will know their information has been compromised.
"The method is a way around legally binding orders that forbid email, cloud computing and other Internet service providers from notifying their clients when they receive government directives to release user information," says Truthdig.
The idea was floated by Cory Doctorow in The Guardian.