Doormat-ologist needed

Charles Lindsey chl at
Fri Sep 10 20:30:42 BST 2010

On Wed, 08 Sep 2010 13:00:04 +0100, Peter Fairbrother  
<zenadsl6186 at> wrote:

> Both "in transmission", and having "been transmitted", Clear as day.
>> the law cannot be intending to make a distinction between whether  
>> someone has bothered to read them or not.
> It *doesn't* make any such distinction. That's the point.
> If they are stored in a system - whether public or private - which has  
> been used to transmit them, so that the recipient can access them, then  
> they are "in transmission". It makes no difference whether the recipient  
> has already accessed them or not.

I think not. If the "doormat" doctrine has any validity at all (and I  
believe it does), then once the message has reached its intended  
destination (e.g. a computer or an answering machine), then it has been  
"delivered", and is no longer in transmission.

If only one copy of the message exists, then that is the end of the  
matter. But if a second copy has been retained on the public side of the  
doormat (has not been deleted from the POP3 mailbox), then that copy is  
still "in transmission" (from the bits of the act that you quoted),  
because the recipient can still request it. If he then deletes it (whether  
or not the telcom actually deletes it or simply marks it for deletion  
later), then it is no longer "available" to the recipient.

RIPA allows warranted interception of stuff still "in transmission". If  
they want something already "delivered", then they need a PACE warrant.

Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
Tel: +44 161 436 6131                       
Email: chl at      Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, CHEADLE, SK8 3JU, U.K.
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