Legal definition of an ISP? -colo a server to friends house

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Legal definition of an ISP? -colo a server to friends house

Postby jago25_98 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:22 am

What is the legal defintion of an ISP?
I know that ISP's are defined as providing traffic, not content and as such are protected by a bill in the US (something like online profanity bill or something)...

but what about the UK?

If I put a server at a friends house they're not responsible for what I do because they are an ISP, surely. They are providing an internet service to me.

The same thing must apply to sharing a WiFi spot.

I guess the problem could be if it came to a court of law and yo uneeded to prove it - you can't log _everything_, so how do you prove it was them not you?

It's a shame because, if it wasn't for people so parnoid about getting shafted for downloading kiddie porn I could:

- stick a server on someone's connection for cheap
- download things and collect them by USB, while I am traveling
- not need a fast connection because I'm downloading the big stuff separately

Comments? Logging tips?

I'd pay a fair price to have a computer behind some QoS/Htb/prio chain, slowly downloading what I need, or indeed uploading as a website. There must be plenty of people out there who'd like to make some cash like this.
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Postby johnhudson » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:38 am

AKAIK the issue is not whether you are an ISP or not but what the nature of the data and processes are.

Anyone who processes personal data - which includes addresses, personal telephone details, etc - on behalf of any organisation has to register with the information commissioner.

There is a general exemption if the data relates to an unincorporated organisation like a gardening club where all the members agree to having their data held on one of the member's computers.

So, is this an entirely personal arrangement in the course of which you will not be sharing any data with third parties? If not, you may need to have a look at your obligations under the data protection legislation.

I assume the same principles apply to a Wi-Fi hotspot - is it an organisation that is providing it for third parties and is it doing any processing?

A rather foolish quirk of English law is that you cannot report an organisation which is transmitting unencrypted data over a Wi-Fi network (and therefore in breach of its data protection obligations) because to know that you would have committed an offence.
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