RIP consultation responses

Ian Batten igb at
Fri Apr 8 15:39:27 BST 2011

>> Well, it says "any communication in the course of its transmission by
>> means of a public telecommunication system".   Is Wifi "a public
>> telecommunications system"?  And does this clause apply if you
>> intercept communication which is at some point is going to pass over a
>> public telecommunications system, or does it have to be on a pts at the
>> time you intercept it?
> Hmmm:
> RIPA s2: "telecommunication system" means any system (including the apparatus comprised in it) which exists (whether wholly or partly in the United Kingdom or elsewhere) for the purpose of facilitating the transmission of communications by any means involving the use of electrical or electro-magnetic energy.

Yes, but you're missing the "public" part.  For which the same section says:

> 	• “public telecommunications service” means any telecommunications service which is offered or provided to, or to a substantial section of, the public in any one or more parts of the United Kingdom;
> 	• “public telecommunication system” means any such parts of a telecommunication system by means of which any public telecommunications service is provided as are located in the United Kingdom;

Clearly, the wifi in an individual's house isn't offered or provided to a substantial section of the public, so it isn't a public telecommunications service in and of itself.   It is however the means by which that individual accesses a public service, hence my question.   The fun would start when you consider public WiFi services, and whether a service offered in Costa constitutes a pts.


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