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

Charles Lindsey chl at clerew.man.ac.uk
Thu Aug 9 10:54:54 BST 2012

On Wed, 08 Aug 2012 19:29:32 +0100, Peter Fairbrother  
<zenadsl6186 at zen.co.uk> wrote:

>> (5) References in this Act to the interception of a communication in the
>> course of its transmission by means of a postal service or
>> telecommunication system do not include references to—
>> (a) any conduct that takes place in relation only to so much of the
>> communication as consists in any traffic data comprised in or
>> attached to a communication (whether by the sender or
>> otherwise) for the purposes of any postal service or
>> telecommunication system by means of which it is being or may
>> be transmitted; or
>> (b) any such conduct, in connection with conduct falling within
>> paragraph (a), as gives a person who is neither the sender nor
>> the intended recipient only so much access to a communication
>> as is necessary for the purpose
> And here is another can of worms.
> In general it is a principle of UK law that evidence once obtained can  
> be presented, whether the obtaining was lawful or not.

Unless it is explicitly forbidden (e.g. evidence gained by interception  
may not be presented in court).

In this case, which explicitly contains the word "only", if they trawl for  
traffic data, and their "conduct" is so badly conducted that they pick up  
some non-traffic data, they may be able to "present" it in some sense, as  
you say, but they have still committed the crime of interception and a  
prosecution against them should succeed.

As I said in an earlier post, if their conduct included a filter that  
removed certain headers before they got to see it they might get away with  

Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
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