United States: The “Pocket Dial,” Wiretapping and a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy – Susan Brenner

31 07 2015

Pocket DialThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recently issued an interesting opinion in a civil suit:  Huff v. Spaw, 2015 WL 4430466 (2015) [pdf]. The court began its opinion by explaining that “[t]his case requires us to consider whether a person who listens to and subsequently electronically records a conversation from an inadvertent `pocket-dial’ call violates Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq. (`Title III’).”   Read the rest of this entry »





Up Periscope, the rise of Twitter’s live streaming app – Ellis Schindler

31 07 2015

twitter-_-periscopeIt’s not much of an exaggeration to say that social media is starting to dominate everyday life. You can capture your every thought and activity in a status, photograph or video and broadcast it to family, friends and random strangers, if that kind of thing takes your fancy. Read the rest of this entry »





South Africa: Are some politicians scandalising the courts? – Dario Milo

30 07 2015

South-African-Constitutional-CourtIn recent weeks, following the Al-Bashir scandal, some of our most powerful politicians have made provocative statements highly critical of aspects of our judiciary. Read the rest of this entry »





What if the French constitutional judges had read the Davis Judgement? Would we be living in a better world? – Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon

29 07 2015

1695732_3_5e5d_les-membres-du-conseil-constitutionnel_6ab46a8063cf3f19b9b4a0a2007b97d6The French Constitutional Court (Conseil Constitutionnel) issued its decision n°2015-713 DC on the recently adopted Law on intelligence on 23 July 2015. Reading its decision after having read the Davis judgment of the English High Court, one wonders whether legal syllogism has suddenly been replaced by useless tautology. Read the rest of this entry »





BBC Charter renewal: invisible actors and critical friends, Part 2 – Julian Petley

29 07 2015

BBCThis is the final part of a two part post.  Part 1 was published on 28 July 2015.

Anxiety has been expressed in pro-BBC quarters about the members of the Charter Review advisory group [pdf] set up by the DCMS.  Thus Broadcast stated that ‘the consensus is that the group are talented and experienced but lack obvious empathy or sympathy for the BBC. There are also concerns that they may pursue their own commercial agendas at the expense of the Corporation.Read the rest of this entry »





News: UK Supreme Court grants permission to appeal in part in Vidal-Hall v Google, misuse of private information is definitively a tort

28 07 2015

google-headquarters-signThe UK Supreme Court has today granted Google partial permission to appeal in the Vidal-Hall case.  The permission covers the data protection issues but not the issue as to whether misuse of private information is a tort.  On this last issue the decision of the Court of Appeal ([2015] EWCA Civ 311) stands.   Misuse of private information is now clearly established as a tort and the claims can proceed against Google regardless of the result of the data protection appeal.   Read the rest of this entry »





BBC Charter renewal: invisible actors and critical friends, Part 1 – Julian Petley

28 07 2015

Sunday Times BBCWhen the DCMS Green Paper on BBC Charter Renewal [pdf] was published on 16 July 2015, the reaction on the part of the corporation’s enemies in the press was relatively muted, particularly when compared to the way in which they had reacted, a few days earlier, to the leaked news of the upcoming consultation. Read the rest of this entry »





Will the ‘real story’ behind forced adoption please stand up? – Sarah Phillimore

28 07 2015

BAAF-logo-high-qualityI wrote one blog post last week which I thought was about one thing – the irritating promotion of a dangerous untruth that the UK is the ‘only’ country in Europe or even the World that permits ‘forced adoption’. Interestingly, the focus of my concerns soon shifted after it was pointed out to me that the article in the Independent which made much of this ‘fact’ was actually written by Caroline Selkirk, the Chief Executive of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). Read the rest of this entry »





New Zealand Passes Harmful Digital Communications Act – Tim Sissons

27 07 2015

KeyboardThe New Zealand Harmful Digital Communications Act received Royal Assent on 2 July 2015. The offence of causing harm by posting digital communication, the safe harbour provisions, and the amendments to other legislation (including the Privacy Act) came into force immediately. Read the rest of this entry »





Law and Media Round Up – 27 July 2015

27 07 2015

Round New 2The Sun has been relying on human rights arguments again this week. Despite its long term opposition to the Human Rights Act the newspaper argued, before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (“IPT”), that the Metropolitan Police had infringed the rights of three of its reporters by accessing their phone records during the Plebgate incident. Read the rest of this entry »