I work on behalf of Phorm here in the UK. Whilst we welcome the healthy debate across the web, there are some factual errors in these ntoes that should be addressed.
Firstly we do not have servers in China or Russia. We have programmers in the UK and US, and we are also lucky to have a first-class team in Moscow. It is entirely normal for international companies to operate development groups overseas, e.g. in India, the far East, and central Europe, and Russia is of course pre-eminent in software development. The group in Moscow is an integral part of the Phorm team is under the direction of Phorm's UK headquarters.
All of our data processing for our clients BT, Talk Talk and Virgin will be done in the UK. We are confident out system meets all the relevant UK laws.
When it was called PeopleOnPage, the company was involved in the adware business, not spyware or malware. Adware is a software component designed to deliver ads as part of a legitimate commercial product or service. The software was installed with the knowledge and consent of individual users, could be identified and uninstalled, and was not intended to cause harm or steal information.
We fully stand by everything we did in the adware business, but it became clear to us it was impossible for people to distinguish adware from spyware. The company quickly decided that the model of providing downloadable software was a wrong turn and was taking us away from our core vision for the business: personalising the Internet.
The company then took the unprecedented step of voluntarily shutting down the download business model - worth $5-6 million a year to the business. Instead we decided to concentrate on our ISP strategy of providing more relevant ads and higher levels of user privacy. We announced this move away from the old model to the ISP strategy transparently to the market.
Lastly, Tim Berners Lee has never had a presentation from Phorm or seen our system - his comments yesterday were a result of questions put to him.