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

Peter Fairbrother zenadsl6186 at zen.co.uk
Wed Aug 8 18:56:29 BST 2012

On 08/08/12 10:49, Charles Lindsey wrote:
> On Tue, 07 Aug 2012 20:50:36 +0100, Peter Fairbrother
> <zenadsl6186 at zen.co.uk> wrote:
>> On 07/08/12 16:39, Charles Lindsey wrote:
>>> I would have expected exactly the opposite.
>>> If the message is from Alice (known to be in the UK, and easily shown to
>>> be such) via Facebook to Bob (who happens to be in the UK) and Others
>>> (outside the UK, and probably a bunch of villains) then if "they"
>>> intercept the message on its way to Facebook without warrant, they have
>>> intercepted a message from Alice to Bob, which is not allowed. End of
>>> story AFAICS.
>>> If "they" imagine that they are intecepting messages from Alice to the
>>> villains, they have neverthelsss intercepted Alice to Bob (because the
>>> same message is sent to all of them). They can't pretend they have read
>>> the body of the message to the villains but carefully omitted to read
>>> the message to Bob, unless they are wearing glasses with some very
>>> peculiar filters in them indeed.
>>> There is an onus on "them" not to break the law - how they avoid that is
>>> their problem but, in this case the technology is definitely against
>>> them.
>> RIPA S.5(6): The conduct authorised by an interception warrant shall
>> be taken to include—
>> (a) all such conduct (including the interception of communications not
>> identified by the warrant) as it is necessary to undertake in order to
>> do what is expressly authorised or required by the warrant;
> Which is irrelevant to the case in question, which was concerned with
> interception *without* a warrant.

They cannot intercept external traffic without a warrant. Assuming that 
their interception of external traffic would be lawful, then a warrant 
for external interception must have been issued.

The rules about external certificated warrants are a little different, 
but they are exactly the same RIPA section 5 warrants as are used to do 
domestic interception.

I reread your post, and this part stood out: "if "they" intercept the 
message on its way to Facebook without warrant...".

Even if the message is only from Alice  to the bad foreign guys, and not 
to Bob, it would still be illegal - they need a warrant to do that.

-- Peter Fairbrother

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