18,000 court cases for BT…

April 3, 2008

Having fessed up to their underhand actions last summer, when some 18,000 home users were spied upon so that already rich organisations could get richer by forcing more crap down our throats, BT are still struggling with a statement regarding the legality of their sly actions. Remember also, quite aside from the multitude of laws they (BT) have probably broken in regards to this deployment of Phorm – just taking a copy of someones personal data without consent, data which they created as a byproduct of intellectual processes (a unique data set is created by each user, no?)  IS stealing it, according to the new RIAA et al wisdom…

BT has not answered The Register’s question, posed on Friday morning, over whether it believes intercepting and profiling the web traffic of 18,000 customers without telling them was a lawful act. A statement it sent us merely confirmed it performed the experiments on customer data, and repeated the party line that no personally identifiable information is used by Phorm technology. You can read the statement here.

BT also refused to reveal where in the national broadband network the thousands of guinea pigs were sourced from.

One senior source in the broadband industry we spoke to was appalled by BT’s actions. “This is extremely serious,” he said. “Data protection errors are generally viewed as a potentially bad thing by the industry, but not a real threat to an ISP’s reputation. This seems like a breach of criminal law, which is much, much worse.”

Even during the early phase of the BT/Phorm deal that the technical report describes, the pair were preparing to spin the technology to the public. “121Media [Phorm] will take action (both technical and public relations) to avoid any perception that their system is a virus, malware or spyware and to show that in effect it is a positive web development,” BT wrote in the report.

At the time of this newly-revealed first trial, Stratis Scleparis was the chief technology officer of BT Retail. He hopped across to occupy the same position at Phorm in January 2007. BT has not addressed our question over whether it is comfortable with the role Scleparis has played in the deal.

Before the controversy over Phorm began, City analysts estimated BT stands to trouser £85m annually in extra revenues.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: