Ben Tasker's Blog

Republished: BT Finally See Sense

Originally published on 18 March 2008

There have been murmers online that BT are planning to do the same as Carphone Wharehouse and make a few changes to the Phorm system, by creating a virtual wall between people who haven't opted in and the profiling hardware. They also intend to do away with the cookie 'opt-out' and create something more in line with the law. I sent BT an email a few days ago asking a variety of questions about the system (I'm on BT and don't like the system one bit) and got the following as a reply

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Republished: No Phoul Play Involved - Good Phorm by BadPhorm

Originally published on 5 May 2009

A question posed on the StopPhoulPlay blog;

The more interesting question is this: if the Home Office and the many expert legal advisors we consulted are wrong, how is it that a system such as GMail - which scans emails from non-account holders without their consent to GMail users - is not also an ?interception? and as such not also a prime target of their campaign?

Unlike Gmail?s webmail service, which is perfectly legal, Phorm?s system is fully anonymous, does not look at email and does not store personal information such as IP addresses. Surely if FIPR/ORG is genuinely interested in a fair debate and the application of law as it sees it, the question merits a response?

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Republished: Phorm launches the InPhorm Newsletter

Originally published on 29 June 2009

In a casual spare moment I clicked onto Phorms Website, once I got past the vomit evoking mess that is the Webwise Discover advert page, I noticed that there has been a bit of a shake-up since I last visited.

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Republished: rejects Phorm

Originally published on 26 March 2009

I've been having a conversation with recently, they provide the DNS Re-Direct for, about Phorm and the Webwise system. Although I completely disagree with Phorms systems using Opt-Out, I also do not want to help them monetize their customers browsing behaviour.

So, some time back I sent an e-mail to their website exclusion list, stating that I did not give permission for them to scrape my site for their own benefit. I received a reply effectively stating that as the WHOIS query for the domain ( does not match my details, the request was being viewed as unauthorised and would not be actioned.

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Republished: Phorm, PR Master or PR Disaster

Originally published on 14 June 2009

About a week ago, I wrote about Webwise Discover, Phorm's new 'service'. At the time I questioned just how Phorm's survey managed to find such a large proportion of responders interested in their service, to me it seemed that these users had not been fully informed before being asked.

It now appears that I was correct. Over at the PC-Pro Forums (thanks for the tip Peter) there's a post by a user called Jonaba, who claims he was one of the respondents. He claims that at no point was Deep Packet Inspection mentioned, and in fact the actual reason for the technology was that well hidden that it took him a couple of minutes to even clock onto what the survey was about.

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