Scrooge, Grinch and Humbug LLP
10 Henrietta St
London, WC2E 8PS
Mr B Springsteen
20 December 2013
re: Mr J Baines esq.
Our client, whilst browsing the information superhighway on 15th inst., was in receipt of a sinister electronic communication purporting to be from you. It began
“You better watch out…”
in itself this may not be particularly objectionable, but, when taken with the subsequent contents of the communication, it can be construed as a threat, engaging the provisions of section 1(1)(a)(ii) of the Malicious Communications Act 1988, or, in the alternative, it can be construed as of menacing character, contrary to section 127(1)(a) and (3) of the Communications Act 2003. Moreover, an inference of blackmail or extortion could potentially be drawn from the ensuing words:
“You better not pout
I’m telling you why…”
Unfortunately, the communication did not end there. Its following contents raise concerns that you, or – to the extent that you are acting as data processor to a data controller – he, may be in breach of your obligations under section 4(4) of the Data Protection Act 1998 to comply with the first Principle of Schedule One to that Act:
“He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…”
Our client’s presence on such a list would tend to indicate the unfair processing of our client’s personal data (and potentially his sensitive personal data, as you appear to be alleging the possible commission of an offence by him). Please note that this letter serves as a notice under section 10 of the Data Protection Act 1998 to you/the data controller to cease processing our client’s personal data in this manner, on the grounds that it is causing him substantial distress (which distress would be greatly amplified should he fail to receive, as a result, gifts owing to him). Our client reserves his position to make a claim under section 13 of the same Act for compensation arising (while acknowledging that, absent specific damage, the authorities may not permit of a claim for compensation for pure distress).
A further point arises when one considers that this personal data appears to have been processed by you in the United States. As you and the data controller will be aware, this implies that there has been a transfer of personal data outisde the European Economic Area, and our client’s position is also reserved as to whether this transfer was effected in compliance with the eight Data Protection Principle.
The foregoing, however, are minor concerns, when compared to the implications of the remainder of the communication
“He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows if you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
Better be good for goodness sake…”
If – as suggested by this – someone has been covertly observing our client’s behaviour, even when asleep, our client will have no option but to seek immediate injunctive relief to prevent that person from coming within 100 metres of him and the chimney of any property in which he is living or visiting. It appears also to be potentially a criminal matter, as the alleged behaviour gives rise to fears that, by virtue of sections 2, 2A and 4 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, offences of harassment, stalking and putting in fear of violence might have been committed.
Accordingly, if Santa Claus is indeed, as threatened, coming to town, our client will have no hesititation in informing the police.
Scrooge, Grinch and Humbug