The BBC has released information that points to a possible collusion between Phorm and the Home Office following the release of information made available under a Freedom of Information Act request.
"If we agree this, and this becomes our position do you think your clients and their prospective partners will be comforted"Home Office e-mail to Phorm
The e-mails were described as "jaw dropping" by Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokeswoman Baroness Sue Miller who has questioned the Home Office over the e-mails from August 2007 and January 2008.
"The fact the Home Office asks the very company they are worried is actually falling outside the laws whether the draft interpretation of the law is correct is completely bizarre.
"I couldn't be more surprised [that] the very department drawing up policy to protect people's privacy is being that cynical."
"Anything the Home Office now says about Phorm is completely tainted."Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokeswoman Baroness Sue Miller
The Home Office and Phorm have both naturally denounced any accusations of collusion.
"We have repeatedly said since these documents were released a year ago that the Government has not endorsed Phorm or its technology.
"We are committed to protecting the privacy of UK consumers and will ensure any new technology of this sort is applied in an appropriate and transparent manner, in full accordance with the law and with proper regulation from the appropriate authority."Home Office Spokesman
Phorm boss Kent Ertugrul has blogged against the so called "privacy pirates" who he claims have launched a smear campaign against Phorm. The blog, launched today, called StopPhoulPlay lists "the main characters" in the anti-Phorm campaign and includes FIPR, the Foundation for Information Policy Research, and The Register as vocal opponents to his company.
It must be remembered, however, that whilst the bickering continues between Phorm and its adversaries, an infringement proceeding is taking place against the UK by the EU commision over how the UK has implemented privacy and data protection laws. This particularly applies in relation to the Phorm system based on when users must opt-out of having their data intercepted.