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Is it legal to intercept radio communications in the 2.4Ghz band in the United Kingdom?

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  • Can you give a bit of context? Is it you trying to find out what your neighbours are up to, is it the police trying to catch a murderer, is it a technician trying to figure out why someone's internet isn't working?
    – gnasher729
    Feb 9, 2018 at 21:54
  • Why would it not be in such general terms? Can you imagine a law against "intercepting" communications in the visible spectrum – a.k.a., opening your eyes?
    – feetwet
    Feb 10, 2018 at 2:53
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    @feetwet: It is an offence under s48, Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 to tune into transmissions for which neither you nor someone on whose behalf you're acting is the intended recipient.
    – eggyal
    Feb 10, 2018 at 10:28
  • @eggyal – good find: I just reopened this question so you can post that as an answer! Also an interesting statute, since it's analogously saying, "It's illegal to intentionally look at something not intended for your eyes, or having seen something not intended for you, to disclose it outside of a legal proceedings."
    – feetwet
    Feb 10, 2018 at 14:47
  • @feetwet: Correct, sort of. Using radio equipment requires more affirmative action that than simply opening one's eyes, but I completely agree that (as a matter of physics) the difference is only in the frequency of the electromagnetic waves involved. BTW, this wasn't so much a "find" as some residual knowledge that it's unlawful in the UK to listen in to air traffic transmissions.
    – eggyal
    Feb 10, 2018 at 14:51

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Is it legal to intercept radio communications in the 2.4Ghz band in the United Kingdom?

No—the interception of any radio communication in the United Kingdom is an offence under Section 48(1)(a) of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006:

A person commits an offence if, otherwise than under the authority of a designated person, he uses wireless telegraphy apparatus with intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message (whether sent by means of wireless telegraphy or not) of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient.

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  • In another post on the same topic the question included the wording "authorization" as a point of order. That is to say it may depend on what extent a person is authorized as opposed to a hard "no".
    – Chezzwizz
    Oct 21, 2023 at 19:08
  • @Chezzwizz: Fair... except the quoted legislation literally says "otherwise than under the authority of a designated person" (it has since been modified to say "without lawful authority" instead). However such authority is only granted by the government to law enforcement officers, so won't really apply to any readers of this site.
    – eggyal
    Oct 23, 2023 at 14:23

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