Does the US have juristriction over the whole world?

Clive D.W. Feather clive at
Sat Nov 26 23:43:29 GMT 2011

Ben Liddicott said:
> He is not required to protect it against the UK government.
> There is a general exception to the Data Protection Act for the prevention 
> and detection of crime. Also one for "historical purposes", i.e. keeping it 
> all forever in case your descendants happen to be interested.
> A partial list of exemptions is:
> 29. Crime and taxation..
> The Data Controller CAN say no in these circumstances and ask for a court 
> order.
> But he *does not have to*.

However, s.29 only applies if failure to disclose "would be likely to
prejudice" the prevention or detection of crime etc. So if the police could
reasonably solve their case without the information, s.29 doesn't apply.

Now, shocking as it may sound, policemen have been known to be less than
completely accurate on occasions, so a simple statement from the police
that they need the information is not sufficient to demonstrate that failure
would prejudice these matters. So you *can* disclose on a request, but if
it turns out the police didn't need the information but were just being
lazy, that won't defend you against an unlawful disclosure prosecution or
civil case.

(The 1984 Act had a defence of "reasonable grounds to believe ...", but
this was removed in the 1998 Act.)

Clive D.W. Feather          | If you lie to the compiler,
Email: clive at     | it will get its revenge.
Web:  |   - Henry Spencer
Mobile: +44 7973 377646

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