The Phorm company that intercepts and amends web pages users request (for now just adverts) is hitting back at critics, with Phorm's chief executive setting up a website stopphoulplay.com against two leading critics of Phorm whom he describes as "privacy pirates". Both men deny allegations including the claim that they could be supported by Phorm's rivals.
The Chief Exec. thinks Phorm's potential competitors are spreading lies about the content manipulation system. The reality is, people value their privacy, and can see the system as dangerous to full blown government system amending content of web pages on-the-fly for their advantage.
I should add that you can also block Phorm's technology by using SSL for all your web site pages. If you have a busy site however, you should be aware that this could cause a significant resources overhead.
Blacklisting Phorm's IPs will serve no purpose. The visits you see to your web sites will have the IPs of the ISP customers, Phorm then intercept these communications and copy the page "in transit". The only way to guarantee that your site will not be compromised by Phorm is to block all the IPs registered to the various ISPs that decide to deploy Phorm's technology.
The only other option is to use the Opt-Out mechanism that Amazon, WikiMedia and others have used; and then trust Phorm to honour that request.
Just a quick update for everyone. Today we have sent a letter of complaint to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that Phorm's statement to markets this week that government regulators and departments support their technology as fully compliant with UK law - is misleading and possibly fraudulant.
I have added a link and summary to my firehose here:
AlexanderHanff writes: "NoDPI have sent a letter of complaint to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) regarding Phorm Inc.'s statements to the press and market news services regarding support of legal compliance from various UK Government Departments and Regulators.
Phorm claim that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the Home Office and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR or BERR) have all cleared Phorm's WebWise technology as being fully compliant under UK and EU Law.
This is contrary to action taken by the European Commission earlier this week, who have initiated legal proceedings against the UK Government specifically for failing to uphold and enforce EU Privacy Directives regarding Phorm's covert trials with BT in 2006/2007.
Furthermore, NoDPI have produced statements from DBERR, ICO and the Home Office which contradict Phorm's statements to the press and market news services this week.
NoDPI are calling for the FSA to investigate whether or not Phorm's statements to the market can be seen as breaking the rules of trading as they are misleading and could even be interpretted as fraudulant."
Good to see Slashdot has finally picked this up. I sent them the press release about the event last week and as one of the organisers of the event and founder of NoDPI.Org I am pleased to say the event went incredibly well and the press coverage has been amazing.
Now would be a good time for people in the UK to write to their MP's directly to discuss the event and make it clear to them that you expect them to research the issue for the purpose of parliamentary debate or you will not be voting for them in the next election.
AlexanderHanff writes: "On 11th March Sir Tim Berners-Lee along with other prominent guests will attend a House of Lords Round Table Event in the UK to discuss the use of Deep Packet Inspection for Behavioural Advertising. The European Commission have continued to press the UK public authorities on their inaction against covert trials of Phorms technology in 2006/2007 and have stated they may be forced to take action against the UK government if they do not enforce UK privacy laws.
This is a big step for the campaign against such intrusive technology and it is set to be a very interesting day."
from the I-always-feel-like-somebody's-watching-me dept.
G'Quann writes "A new survey shows that data retention laws indeed do influence the behavior of citizens (at least in Germany). 11% had already abstained from using phone, cell phone or e-mail in certain occasions and 52% would not use phone or e-mail for confidential contacts.
This is the perfect argument against the standard 'I have nothing to hide' argumentation. Surveillance is not only bad because someone might discover some embarrassment. It changes people. 11% at least."
AlexanderHanff writes: A new social networking project was announced today for the Ubuntu Community. It has generated a great deal of excitement both in the official Ubuntu forums and on Digg. The plan is to offer the community a service which will give them personal blog and emails within the ubuntu-users.org domain with all the rich features expected from a modern social networking site; including groups (Loco and custom), rss aggregation, voting system for the site's development and features as well as for the Ubuntu operating system and much more. It will be run by the Ubuntu Community users for the Ubuntu Community users on a totally non-profit basis and with an open design as well as mind. Hopefully the synergy it will create will give this huge community a real sense of belonging and a virtual badge they can wear with pride.
AlexanderHanff writes: "Today I launched a Public Letter Writing Campaign in response to the BBC's decision to limit their new "On Demand" service called iPlayer to Microsoft Windows. Many will think why is this an issue? Well the BBC is funded by a compulsory TV License Fee payable by all British people who own a television. By excluding everyone who does not use Window XP SP2, they have exculded hundreds of thousands of British TV License holders, the same segment of the public provide revenues of 10s of millions (GBP) each year to the BBC through their TV License Fees. The BBC have a public mandate to provide services which give "Value to licence fee payers as individuals, Value to society as a whole through its contribution to the BBC's Public Purposes and Value for money and cost", they have failed in all 3 of these mandates with the iPlayer service. The aim of the campaign is to send more than 10 000 letters to 4 different public bodies to match an official petition which is rapidly approaching 10 000 signatures."