sorry, but ...

Peter Fairbrother zenadsl6186 at
Sun Jul 29 14:32:19 BST 2012

On 29/07/12 09:06, Roland Perry wrote:
> In article <5013180A.2020800 at>, Peter Fairbrother
> <zenadsl6186 at> writes
>> RIPA S.20: “external communication” means a communication sent or
>> received outside the British Islands;
>> [ In fact any in-transit message has not been received yet, obviously,
>> as it is still in transit;
> That's over-analysing the situation. And in any event a transmission by
> TCP/IP involves a handshake, so the message is provably partly received
> even before the transmission has complete.

The RIPA word is "communication" not message (my fault), and I do not 
think the communication (as opposed to the packets or bits) is received 
until it has all reached some destination.

Otherwise we could talk about each and every switch in the network, 
which is probably not what was meant. If it was you could intercept at 
telephone exchanges without a warrant ..

However I can't find a definition for "communication" in RIPA or elsewhere.

> It's not useful to think about posting to/from a social network site as
> emails, in general they are much more like Instant Messaging.

In general there is also a "fetch-it-later" facility for those who are 
not logged in, which is very like web-based email.

>> Now suppose Bob is in the UK. They may know whether Bob receives
>> Alice's post, But what they will not know is whether Charles in
>> Pakistan has also received it. We know Charles hasn't, but they never
>> will - is it okay for them to assume that Charles has {or rather he
>> will}, and thus that it's an external communication?
> Once you have IM and one-to-many messaging, simple questions such as
> these don't make sense any more.

I don't know what officially happens when the law stops making sense, 
but I think most often Judges just make it up.

> Indeed, numerous social networking sites are one-to-everyone (eg anyone
> who has my "Wall" open in front of them, and I post a public 'status
> update'). For emphasis, that's everyone everywhere [apologies to T-Mobile].

The web itself does much the same. As do blogs etc..
>> I can see a Judge just throwing his hands up at this point and saying
>> "Alice's communication is to Facebook".
> That's one solution, but it needs to be reflected in the legislation, so
> we all know where we stand.

Yes. It's probably to Bob too, but that doesn't mean it isn't to 
Facebook. Clearing that up would be good.

And clearing up the stored comms NTL vs Ipswich question would be good 
too - the Police need a warrant from the HS to intercept telephone 
calls, but not to intercept email? Where's the sense in that?

However I'm pretty sure that that is where we stand, and it's not a 
comfortable place to be. It means they can eg see all Facebook traffic, 
including all content. And that is not obvious from reading the Bill.

If you don't think that is a big deal, have a look at this:

Though wading through pages and pages of

"I'm on the train"
"I'm on the train too"
"I'm in carriage B"
"So am I"
"Yes, I can see you"
"So, when does the concert start?"

(wiht typos wtc) might get a bit boring

-- Peter Fairbrother

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