“OFF DUTY” TELEPHONE ENGINEER ENGAGED IN RUNNING OF PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEM

Under the scheme of the Interception of Communications Act 1985 no use of an intercept should be permissible irrespective of the question of whether it was lawful or had been authorised or instructed by the telecommunications operator. The words “engaged in”, in ss.9(2)(b) and (c) of the 1985 Act, denoted the person’s employment at the relevant time and not whether he was acting within his authority. Therefore evidence from an interception by a telecommunications engineer acting outside the scope of his employment was inadmissible evidence.

[2001] UKHL 54