https - hopefully not too stupid a question

Ian Batten igb at
Mon Jun 18 13:35:27 BST 2012

On 18 Jun 2012, at 11:03, Andrew Cormack wrote:

> I'd been assuming that pulling traffic data out of the inside of a packet would be interception because it would inevitably "make available" the rest of the inside of packet, thus satisfying the requirement of "interception" in 2(2).

The draft legislation's filtering provisions, S.14 though S.16, I believe cover this. They're proposing, so far as I can tell, that if you have an approved device doing the interception, and all that it emits is data that would otherwise be classed as communications data, then you can do this on lower-tier, communciations data authorisation.  So "poke around in this content and extract the email addresses referenced in his gmail session" doesn't require a Home Office warrant, provided the poking around is done by filtering apparatus.

I base this reading (and I accept it's a tentative one) on the commentary to the draft, para. 84 bullet 1 (the "extra data" that has to be obtained isn't "communications data"), para 85 ("certain categories of additional information").

On their face, S.14 through S.16 cover the case where in order to satisfy a request for communications data about a subject, you have to process in some way data relating to a large number of other people.  But I don't see why it doesn't cover Andrew's scenario as well.


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