Starmer dumps doormat?

Peter Tomlinson pwt at
Sun Jan 16 18:17:36 GMT 2011

On 16/01/2011 15:39, Peter Fairbrother wrote:
> Peter Sommer wrote:
>> If you stick to RIPA and interception,  the general view is that 
>> interception only occurs when something is in the course of 
>> transmission (as Caspar report).  Once it has been received it is no 
>> longer "in the course of transmission" 
> That's not what RIPA says - according to RIPA a message can have been 
> received and still be in transmission. This is the mistake which the 
> Police, CPS etc have been making, and hopefully will stop making.
> I made this mistake myself too for a while, as did many other people 
> here - it's only about a year ago I said here to much disagreement 
> (and apparently one or two people still disagree) that I thought that 
> according to RIPA whether a message has been read has no bearing on 
> whether it is in transmission or not - so don't blame them too much.
> If you are used to looking at things like letters which are either in 
> transmission or not, it's hard to take the step to a message which can 
> be both in transmission and not in transmission at the same time.
Which is what I was arguing earlier today, albeit from analysing the 
real world rather than RIPA.

> I know the law doesn't actually do this, but might be easier to look 
> at an electronic message as lots of copies. If a copy was created 
> inside a transmission system it is is transmission. Forever.
> If you copy that copy, or even just look at it [7], it's interception 
> unless you are the sender/recipient, or you are doing so in order to 
> transmit it to the recipient.
> This is actually almost identical to what RIPA actually says, but in 
> very different form - and it's also the doormat.
> But it's a step to get here, too ... :)
> -- Peter Fairbrother
> [7] it is of course at least impractical to look at a copy without 
> copying it, and it's theoretically impossible if you define look and 
> copy right.

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