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Interception and Monitoring of Communications

Welcome to the JISC Legal webpage on Interception and Monitoring Law.  This resource consists of guidance on the law and the legal issues relating to the interception and monitoring of communications technology in colleges and universities.


Social Media and the Law Top Tips (18 February 2014)

Jisc Legal's Top Tips for managing the legal aspects of social media use effectively.

Social Media for Staff Legal Checklist (18 February 2014)
A short reference guide for universities, colleges and learning providers to ensure risks are recognised and managed appropriately, while clarifying for staff what the boundaries are.
Social Media for Staff Policy Template (10 February 2014)

This template is to help learning providers consider relevant issues, make decisions (according to their own risk appetite) on how social media use will be implemented and regulated, and to write a social media policy that is fit for their purpose.

Interception and Monitoring Law Essentials (24 September 2013)
A direct, point by point guide on interception and monitoring law and its application to Further and Higher Education (FE and HE). 
Interception and Monitoring Law Overview (20 September 2013)
An examination of the current law surrounding the rights, obligations and liabilities of a college or university with regard to interception and monitoring of communications on or using its computer systems. 
Law and ICT in Your College (16 May 2013)

This guidance is intended for staff in further education and independent specialist colleges that provide education or training for both adult and younger learners with varying learning needs.

e-Safety Policy Checklist (30 October 2012)
A checklist of questions for institutions to consider when updating or framing an e-safety policy.
Law and ICT for Vulnerable Learners in FE (30 July 2012)
This guidance is intended for staff in UK FE colleges whose provision includes further education or training for vulnerable learners with varying needs including disability issues.
Law, ICT and Sixth Form Colleges (20 February 2012)
This guidance is intended for staff in sixth form colleges and aims to provide a helpful overview to key legal issues relevant to sixth form colleges in the development and use of ICT.
Law, ICT and Independent Specialist Colleges (12 January 2012)
This guidance is intended for staff in independent specialist colleges that provide further education or training for learners with varying learning needs due to disability issues.
ARCHIVED: Cookies - Six Months Until Enforcement (25 November 2011)
The law has changed that applies to how cookies are used by websites.
Personal Data and Consent Management: A Briefing Paper (16 November 2011)

This guidance is designed to help institutions deal with consent management when sharing personal data across and between institutions and external service providers.

JISC Legal Cloud Computing and the Law Toolkit (31 August 2011)

Whether you work in a teaching, research, management or support capacity, the toolkit will help you to make confident, informed decisions about implementing cloud computing solutions in your institution.

ICT Law for FE and HE Senior Management (14 July 2011)

An up-to-date, accessible guide for senior managers on ICT law within FE and HE.

ARCHIVED: The Digital Economy Act 2010: Implications for UK Colleges and Universities (23 July 2010)

ARCHIVED. This guidance document examines the Digital Economy Act 2010 and its implications for universities and colleges in the UK.

Safeguarding: Meeting your e-Safety Duties Webcast (3 March 2010)This webcast was designed to assist institutions in meeting their legal duties and inspection needs in relation to safeguarding and e-security.   
Institutional Access to Staff and Student IT Accounts and IT Equipment - Model Policy (2 November 2007)

The purpose of this Model Policy is to outline the circumstances in which it is permissible for an institution to access the IT accounts of staff members or students.

Data Retention Directive Overview (21 June 2007)
This overview paper briefly clarifies the current situation with regard to retention of communications traffic data by certain UK organisations.
Interception and Monitoring Law Webcast (16 May 2007)

Webcast providing practical guidance on legally accessing user email accounts, computer hard drive or network storage.   

Lifelong Learner Record Study - Report 1- The Project Killer Report (1 June 2004)

A JISC study to explore the Legal and Records Management Issues relating to the concept of the Lifelong Learner record.

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Defamation Bill Set to Bite the Dust?
It is reported that the proposed Defamation Bill is no longer expected to become law.
Email Content Not Considered as Property (5 February 2013)
A High Court judge (in England and Wales) has ruled that businesses do not have a general claim of ownership over the content in staff emails. 
Report on Draft Communications Data Bill due to be published (5 December 2012)
The Draft Communications Bill currently making its way through the legislative process has implications for the UK academic network.
New Plans for Defamation Law and Communications Data (21 May 2012)
Improving the protection of freedom of speech and increasing access to vital communications, including internet use, are proposed in the Queen's speech.
Digital Economy Act's Anti-Piracy Measured Delayed (1 May 2012)
The Digital Economy Act 2010 was given royal assent late on Thursday, 8 April 2010, following the final reading of the Digital Economy Bill in the House of Commons, the previous night.
What Does the New "Cookie" Legislation Require us to do? (15 December 2011)
The law has changed that applies to how institutions must use cookies.
Updated Guidance by the ICO on Cookies (14 December 2011)
Guidance has been issued by the ICO on how the rules apply for those operating websites and using cookies.
Personal Opinions Online Subject to the DPA (9 December 2011)
The High Court states that even where private individuals are expressing their own views online the requirements of lawful processing in the DPA can apply.
Defamation - Academics to get Increased Protection (20 October 2011)
Joint Committee report on defamation law recommends new notice and take-down internet procedures as well as increased protection for scientists and academics.
New ICO Regulations - Unwanted Emails - Cookies (27 April 2011)
Fines of up to £500,000 for the most serious incidents of sending unwanted emails.
New Law on Cookies Coming into Force (8 March 2011)
New law gives individuals more control over what information organisations can store on their computer.
Proposed New EU Rules to have Child Pornography Online Deleted (16 February 2011)
The EU has taken a step towards common rules for cracking down on those who sexually abuse children and post images of the abuse on the internet.
Digital Economy Act Progresses Despite Judicial Review (26 January 2011)
A Statutory Instrument has been set out on costs sharing for rights holders and ISPs in implementing the Digital Economy Act. 
EC Consultation on IPR Enforcement- Get Involved (13 January 2011)
The European Commission has announced a consultation on the Commission report on the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Digital Economy Act Subject to Judicial Review (11 November 2010)
The controversial Digital Economy Act (DEA) is to be reviewed by the High Court and subject to a Parliamentary enquiry
What Constitutes Personal Data? (6 October 2010)
Data protection law needs to provide more clarity on what actually constitutes personal data.
Wanted - Your Views on New Public Sector Equality Duty (20 August 2010)
A consultation by the GEO seeks views on proposals for draft regulations on the new public sector equality duty.
Nowhere to Run - EU Online Copyright Infringement Agreement Being Drawn Up (28 July 2010)
A working party representing 37 EU countries is currently negotiating the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which intends to tackle online copyright infringements on an international level.
Equality Act Receives Royal Assent (14 April 2010)
On 8 April 2010 the Equality Act received royal assent after completing its parliamentary process.
EU Cookie Directive - Directive 2009/136/EC (6 April 2010)
This amendment directive requires consent for the placement of cookies on the Internet by tightening existing legislation in this regard, namely the, e-Privacy Directive, 2002/58/EC.
Watch Out YouTube (5 March 2010)
A surprise amendment forced through for controversial clause 17 of the Digital Economy Bill could lead to entire sites being forced offline if it becomes law.
Data Breaches - ICO Raises the Stakes (28 January 2010)
Institutions falling to report data breaches can face financial penalties from April 2010
RIPA (Part 2) New Codes of Practice (22 January 2010)
Further to consultation on The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the Home Office has published new Codes of Practice that will come into force on 6 April 2010.
E-Privacy Directive to be Reviewed by EU Data Protection Working Party (26 June 2008)
The Data Protection Working Party of the EU proposed to discuss the ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) on 24 and 25 June 2008.
EU Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications and Network Services (16 January 2008)
The EU Framework for Electronic Communications and Network Services may impact on at least five pieces of existing UK legislation.
Can an institution use a cloud service provider that is unable to guarantee personal data will stay within the EEA? (3 February 2014)
It is important to recognise that in any situation where a data controller is using a data processor, the data controller remains responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
Can we provide network access to alumni or prospective students? (27 June 2013)
This FAQ summarises the legal considerations in providing prospective students or alumni access to the college or university network making reference to relevant guidance from JANET.
What balance should we strike between a strict internet filter and a more lenient policy? (29 October 2012)
The simplest way of addressing this is to remind users that it is the institution's responsibility to comply with the JANET Acceptable Use Policy ... (cont)
Do we need to get parental consent for students (16+) to watch unfiltered content on YouTube? (29 October 2012)
In order to meet the duty of care owed to learners, a college will have to show it has taken adequate precautions to prevent reasonably foreseeable loss or harm occurring. 
What is the legal position with regards to digitising our student newspaper, if the content turns out to be libellous? (19 October 2012)
The general rule of UK defamation law is that the publisher of a defamation faces liability and this applies to FE and HE institutions as publishers in the same way as to any other publisher.  
Can a college or university covertly monitor its students’ online activity? (31 August 2012)
Covert monitoring is surveillance of online activity without giving the users involved specific notification that this is going on.  It clearly has legal implications relating to ... (cont)
How long are colleges and universities required to retain emails? (1 August 2012)
Firstly it is necessary to try and distinguish between emails which contain information which are business records and emails which are just  ... (cont)
Is it Lawful to Monitor Student Computer Screens? (30 July 2012)
Some software permits staff to view from a remote device what students are viewing on their computer screens.  What are the legal implications of using such software?
How can we legally monitor emails remotely? (4 May 2012)
Learners have a right of privacy to personal communications (article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) but colleges have ... (cont)
Are there situations where information held in staff private email accounts might be disclosed under FOI? (2 April 2012)
Emails although sent from a staff member's private email account can still be subject to FOIA.  
What should we do if we come across email communications that clearly break the law? (21 December 2011)
Any monitoring of systems, even if it is minimal, must be done only after consent has been sought from the persons who are subject to monitoring ... (cont)
What Does the New "Cookie" Legislation Require us to do? (15 December 2011)
The law has changed that applies to how institutions must use cookies.
Where can we get practical, relevant staff development training on ICT and law issues such as copyright, data protection and e-safety? (3 June 2011)
We are pleased to announce the launch of JISC Legal Plus - a new staff development service bringing JISC Legal's expertise to your institution at competitive prices...  (cont'd)
Is a blanket policy prohibiting personal communications over the college network enough to permit lawful monitoring of all email and internet use? (28 February 2011)
No, an acceptable use policy does not override the law in relation to monitoring.  All monitoring must be carried out ... (cont)
What are our obligations, as an institution, in order to meet email compliance legislation? (8 September 2010)
Some of the clearest information on disclaimers is available on the 'Business Link' website which is primarily funded by the UK Department of  ... (cont)

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Interception & Monitoring Newslinks

Data Protection Training for University Staff

Jisc Legal has produced an online training course for university staff in the essentials of data protection law.

Social Media Prosecution Guidelines Set Out
Prosecutors in Scotland have set out new guidelines as to whether messages posted on social media should be treated as a crime. 

New RIPA Codes of Practice to Come into Force

Revised versions of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) codes of practice to come into force on 10 December 2014.

Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information

A proposed new directive is intended to ensure that confidential information is adequately protected EU wide.

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