Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wiretapping service opens in the US, Is there a gap in the market here?

Interesting report over on Techcrunch about a company called 2Recall who are providing an 800 number service in the US to allow people to record their telephone conversation. As the article points out the whole notion of tapping calls in the US federal system is a bit of a legal minefield, but it got me wondering if such a service could provided here.

The law governing recording phone calls in the UK generally falls under four pieces of legislation. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ("RIPA"), Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice)(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 ("LBP Regulations"), Data Protection Act 1998, Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999 and the Human Rights Act 1998. The thing is, what is clearly defined is recording in the workplace but recording calls at home is not.

Under these pieces of legislation, depending on who you have interpreting it, it is perfectly legal for anyone to record their home telephone calls without informing the other person so long as they have no intention of making the content of the communication available to a third party.

The question therefore arises, would a secure recording facility that had measures in place to ensure content of communications was not accessible (encryption would solve that) to anyone but the person recording it be legal? If it is, is there a gap in the market for such a venture? Guess we'll have to watch, wait and see.

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