BBC News - 'Fresh proposals' planned over cyber-monitoring

Ben Liddicott ben at
Thu May 23 22:32:32 BST 2013

On 23/05/2013 20:32, Francis Davey wrote:
> 2013/5/23 Ben Liddicott <ben at <mailto:ben at>>
>     Well, that's a good summary of the argument, but not actually a
>     good reason, and it's not actually what happens.
>     It's not what happens because the vast majority of such requests
>     are for things which could perfectly well have waited to the next
>     working day and been dealt with in bulk.
>     It's not a good reason firstly because there is no technical
>     reason why a court order has to be slow. IANAL, but AFAIK a court
>     order or warrant can be given by telephone, fax or email if need
>     be - I don't believe there is any legal requirement for the judge
>     to be in the same room as the petitioner - and if there is, why
>     not just change that rule for emergencies?
> You can get an order over the telephone. There's a 24/7 "duty judge" 
> system that means you can always get a judge (possibly out of bed) for 
> an urgent order. Clearly you have to have a pretty good reason to do 
> that but the system is there.
> If this was going to happen a lot then I am sure the court service 
> could (if it was told to) set up a system that made this work.
So the reality is if you have an emergency, you have two officers on the 

Officer 1 gets on to the ISP and says "I need some info urgently, court 
order is on it's way. Can you look it up and have it ready to give as 
soon as the order comes through?" The chap at the ISP does so, looks up 
the info and has it ready.
Officer 2 gets on to the Judge and says " I need a court order for 
this...".  As soon as the order is given, the word is passed to officer 
1 along with (presumably) some reference number. ISP chap hands over info.

This happens in parallel, and in reality the court order plus request 
takes barely longer than the request alone.

If that's the case, what is the real reason these new abilities are 
being asked for? Are the people who insist they are necessary lying or 
merely ignorant? Why aren't they being called on it?

Hmm... Cheers, anyway.


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