Starmer dumps doormat?
lists at internetpolicyagency.com
Wed Jan 19 10:01:49 GMT 2011
In article <4D35D1F7.5060304 at zen.co.uk>, Peter Fairbrother
<zenadsl6186 at zen.co.uk> writes
>It's a very short step from there to saying texts stored in mobile
>phones are in transmission even when read
I think one of the problems that RIPA was trying to work around (whether
it was successfully drafted, or is successfully interpreted, is another
matter - which I leave for others to discuss) is avoiding the situation
where someone is guilty of Interception if they misappropriate a
mobile phone, laptop, or even a server. And would that be a sledgehammer
to crack a nut.
I suppose the analogy is: Do you want people to be prosecuted for
Interception if they hijack a mail van, or are there other more suitable
Several years ago I also wrote a mini-paper about the situation in
places like an office, where a "boss" (sorry for the stereotyping)
diverts his phone and voicemail to a secretary, and therefore the first
person to get (and listen to) them is not the intended recipient. Make
that in spades when it's the secretary who sets up the diversion on her
own initiative. [nb in these scenarios, the recipient can be argued to
have given permission, but the sender hasn't; and many corporates use
what are in effect public networks as a virtual PABX, so it's not
necessarily being done on a private network either.
There are parallels for these scenarios in email (and other electronic
communications), but I'll stick to phones for now as they are easier to
describe. And there are other issues with (eg) one-to-many emails where
RIPA doesn't really fit.
What I've thought for several years now is that the whole idea of
"Interception" needs to be re-examined from first principles, and a
fresh start made with the drafting.
FWIW, the EU Commission has recently admitted that its Data Protection
and Electronic Commerce Directives are now "out of date" because they
didn't anticipate (nor perhaps should they have been expected to) the
explosion in online communications, and modes, and need to be revised
from the ground up [eg the split between "Mere conduit", "Caching" and
"Hosting" is over simplistic these days]. They've said that trying to
"over-interpret" those Directives in today's marketplace is unhelpful,
although that's what does happen if you don't revise them.
Ten years on (for all of the above legislation) is arguably 30 "Internet
Years", so an all round Spring Clean might be a good idea.
 Which could be stealing, but could also be seizure by the police in
circumstances where they didn't have a suitable explicit exemption for
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