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Sun Dec 12 21:12:03 GMT 2010

really!) I suspect that in current law an agent has to be human. But there =
are definitely legal problems around the status of "software agents", so th=
at may be the way the law is heading. If I find time to investigate I'll tr=
y to remember to report back here.
> > But it seemed that if that resulted in the secretary acting *as* the
> >boss for a particular subset of his work then the secretary/boss *is*
> >the intended recipient and the interception problem goes away. That
> >seemed a reasonable fit for the paper-based world where, if I get a
> >letter signed "pp CEO" then I treat it as coming from the CEO, even
> >though it's very obvious that it hasn't.
> But what about inbound items (email or postal) marked "Private and
> Confidential"?

Not sure how widespread the practice is, but the executives of my employer =
have two different e-mail addresses, one of which I suspect is accessible t=
o PAs and the other isn't. Whether that is enforced by technology or practi=
ce I don't know.

> >It also seemed to make it the boss's responsibility to define the
> >extent of actions for which the secretary could act as agent, and if
> >the boss doesn't make that clear then it's their problem and not the
> >secretary's. It seemed a bit unfair to us if the poor secretary
> carried
> >the can for misinterpreting unclear instructions, which seems to be
> >another consequence of trying to justify it as interception-with-
> consent :(
> I think we are back in the situation I was describing earlier - there
> might be one outcome dictated by common sense (based on a deeper
> understanding of these 'private sector interception' issues than
> perhaps
> was exposed in the ICOA Review in 1999), and another by the way the
> current law is drafted.

I suspect we are. But what's puzzling is that I would expect MPs to have un=
derstood the PA situation from their own experience so to have talked about=
 it. Since, as far as I know, they didn't, that made me wonder if there was=
 an obvious (to them) answer to the problem that we techies were missing. B=
ut it may be that all the examples in their world are covered by clear defi=
nitions of the doormat/BT box etc. and it's only in things like e-mail, voi=
cemail, Centrex, with which they weren't familiar in 1999 that the location=
 of the doormat isn't clear, so the possibility that the PA is on the "wron=
g" side of it arises.


> Roland.
> >--
> >Andrew Cormack, Chief Regulatory Adviser, JANET(UK)
> --
> Roland Perry

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