sorry, but ...

Charles Lindsey chl at
Thu Jul 26 12:54:01 BST 2012

On Wed, 25 Jul 2012 13:36:59 +0100, Peter Fairbrother  
<zenadsl6186 at> wrote:

> And so as ever we are left with the plain wording of the law:
> RIPA S.20: “external communication” means a communication sent or  
> received outside the British Islands;
> When Alice sends her message to Bob via Facebook in Eire, is her  
> communication received by Facebook?

If Alice's Facebook account is setup so that all the world can see her  
messages, then there is no issue, because Law Enforcement officers are a  
subset of "all the world", and they can just "look".

If, as is more likely, only Alice's "friends" can see them, then Facebook  
have set up a communication system that allows messages to be sent from  
Alice to those Friends (whether or not the Friends need to log on to  
Facebook in order to read them). Thus Facebook is providing "mere conduit"  
as well as storage facilities accessible only by Alice + Friends.

Now if all the Friends are situated in the UK, then any message is  
inevitably both 'sent' and 'received' within the UK, and is therefore  
internal, since it seems to be agreed that a server, wherever located,  
which provides mere conduit, or temporary buffering/storage to facilitate  
such conduit, is itself neither a sender nor a receiver.

Now if one of Alice's friends (say Bob) happens to reside outside the UK,  
then things might get more interesting, since every message is potentially  
 from Alice to Bob (but what if Bob never actually bothers to read it).

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