Retrospective Warrants: Legal Theory?

Caspar Bowden (lists) lists at
Tue Jun 17 12:19:01 BST 2014

On 06/17/14 12:35, Ian Batten wrote:
> On 17 Jun 2014, at 10:16, Nicholas Bohm <nbohm at> wrote:
>> On 17/06/2014 09:08, Ian Batten wrote:
>>> The GCHQ/NSA narrative on bulk interception appears to be that it's OK provided the data isn't
>>> looked at by humans without a warrant.   There seems to be an assumption that it's OK to data-mine
>>> bulk data, but that before the data belonging to an individual is looked at by humans there has to be a warrant.
>>> I think the first part of that argument has a fairly straightforward legal basis (whatever my personal view
>>> might be on the morality of it). RIPA S.2(2) defines intercept to occur when content is made available
>>> "to a PERSON other than the sender or intended recipient of the communication" (my emphasis).
>>> I doubt a court would agree with the contention that software under the control of a person is equivalent to a person.
>> This is inconsistent with section 16(2),
> That's an interesting point.
> My reading is that section 16 is only engaged by "certificated warrants", S.8(4), and that appears
> to exclude material relating to people located in the UK  S.16(2)(a).  But I confess to struggling
> with the language ("falls within this subsection so far only as it is selected to be read, looked at or listened
> to otherwise than according to a factor which" --- does the otherwise mean "other than as in the follow
> sections" or is it attached to the "listened to"?)

This is what we know from 2000


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