Feeds

Madoff data can be extradited back to US

High Court says legal interest trumps data protection

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Data which is protected by the Data Protection Act can be transferred to the US to help in the investigation of companies run by Bernard Madoff, the High Court has said. The transfer would usually be barred but is justified in this case, the Court said.

The Data Protection Act (DPA) forbids the export of personal data to countries where privacy protection is poor. Data cannot be sent outside of the European Economic Area except to countries which are deemed to have 'adequate' data protection. The US is not one of those countries.

Irving Pickard has been appointed by the New York Courts to conduct the liquidation of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities, the investment vehicle formerly run by Madoff that is behind a $50 billion fraud.

Pickard and joint provisional liquidators (JPL) in the UK applied for permission to send data relating to a UK Madoff company, Madoff Securities International Limited, to Pickard in New York.

The transfer would usually be barred by the DPA but it does have some exceptions. Data can be transferred, it says, when "the transfer is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest" and when "the transfer is necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings)".

"I am satisfied that it is in the public interest for an alleged fraud on this scale and of this complexity to be investigated, and on the evidence before me I am therefore satisfied that transfers of the information scheduled to the draft order are necessary for reasons of substantial public interest," said Mr Justice Lewison in the High Court.

The Court found that the exception relating to legal proceedings was also relevant.

"The unravelling of the fraud will undoubtedly involve legal proceedings. Indeed … there are two such proceedings already on foot, namely the liquidations both in New York and in this country, and the establishment of legal rights will no doubt be necessary in order to wind up the affairs of both companies in an orderly fashion," said Mr Justice Lewison. "It is therefore the case, on the basis of the evidence before me, that [some of the legal exceptions] are also satisfied."

The Court's ruling related to specified information, but the UK liquidators had also asked the Court to allow them the discretion to send any further information they saw fit to Pickard in the future.

Mr Justice Lewison refused to issue the blanket permission for more data to be sent.

"That form of order relates to information which is unspecified and which gives to the joint provisional liquidators the discretion or the ability to make a valued judgment as to what they consider to be necessary," he said in his ruling. "I do not consider that the court should make a blanket order of that kind without knowing what it is that it is being asked to authorise."

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.