sorry, but ...

Roland Perry lists at
Fri Jul 27 17:36:39 BST 2012

In article <op.wh3nj7gb6hl8nm at>, Charles Lindsey 
<chl at> writes
>>> Now if all the Friends are situated in the UK
>> A huge assumption. My Facebook friends are literally all over the 
>>world.   Even someone with a UK-based work life is quite likely to 
>>have at least   one relative abroad.
>>> , 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).
>> Bob may have an email alert, which means he'll get sent the message 
>>whether he wants it or not. Similarly, if Bob has a Tweetdeck account 
>>linked to his Facebook, he'll be "pushed" many of the postings that way.
>> This is all far to technology specific to be of use making law, 
>>however.   You simply have to assume that there will be a Bob, and he 
>>will get the   message.
>If it so happens that there exists no such Bob outside of the UK, then 
>"They" will be breaking the law if they intercept it without a warrant. 
>I  reckon the onus is on "Them" to ascertain that there does exist an 
>extra-terroitorial Bob if they want to go ahead and intercept without a 
>warrant. How "They" ascertain that is "Their" problem, and I doubt that 
>even the most microscopic examination of Alice's communication with 
>Facebook would reveal that.

I'm not sure the law as currently drafted can cope with one-to-many 
messaging, where some recipients are in the UK and some aren't (and 
cases where all aren't will indeed be difficult to determine on the 

I was wondering if a single non-UK Bob would make the message fair game 
- despite there also being many UK-based recipients.

Or might the social networking server be deemed a single recipient (in 
most case not-in-the-UK), which then 'explodes' the message to multiple 
recipients (in various countries) as a completely separate exercise.

[But see the 'mere conduit' proposition quoted above].

Surely, what's required is a proper policy debate on one-to-many 
messages (and some resulting suitable law), rather than trying to work 
out how a one-to-one messaging law might apply to them?
Roland Perry

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