What is a "communication" (was Re: sorry, but ...

Roland Perry lists at internetpolicyagency.com
Wed Aug 1 13:04:11 BST 2012

In article <501903C6.8060506 at gmx.net>, "Caspar Bowden (travelling)" 
<tharg at gmx.net> writes
>> How do we extend that theory to the situation where there are many 
>>receivers in many countries,
>In ***theory***, it should be that if all the recipients are inside the 
>UK, then it's internal, but if at least one intended recipient is 
>outside UK, then its external, but...

That was what I expected the situation to be, but with modern social 
networking it's really difficult to know if all your correspondents are 
in the UK. After all, do they publish their travel plans (OK, some 
social networks do). Did David Cameron take his laptop to Tuscany?

>> and when no-one (barring the intermediary such as Facebook knows who 
>>the receivers are, and only really dodgy stuff like geo-location by IP 
>>address can determine where they are?
>So that is one of the the things I wanted to get at with the amendments 
>resulting in the Bassam letter.

One solution would be to amend the law to talk about where people 
"purport" to be. eg I purport to be in Nottingham, UK; although very 
often I'll be reading Facebook when overseas, which might show up as 
traffic data. But for email it's worse than that, because I use a VPN 
back to my office and you'd have to ask the VPN operator where I was.

>What that told us (in 2000) is in practice if the bits flow over an 
>"external trunk" they are fair game

That's also to be expected, although these days you might well find 
UK-UK traffic going via AMSIX as well as LINX. Of course, the next 
question is "which side of LINX have you placed the sniffer box" - the 
UK side, or the leased line to the overseas peering partner.

>For comparison, it looks like the NSA had to work much harder (up until 
>9/11) to exclude *collection* of Americans' traffic (no doubt using 
>such stuff as geo-IP), because FISA promised protection by nationality 
>(but since Protect America 2007 and FISAAA 2008, the doctrine of 
>collect first, worry about who is American later, became legitimized)

How does that work for Americans living or travelling overseas?
Roland Perry

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