Broadband News

Phorm blogs against 'collusion' smear campaign

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.


If anyone's a "privacy pirate" surely it's Phorm (and by extension, Kent Ertugrul), not those who have publicised how Phorm compromises users' privacy and security.

  • ceedee
  • over 11 years ago

Lets all welcome Kent Ertugrul to the internet and the reality that has finally dawned on him... You can monitor as much as you like people will still speak out against you, the more you try to stop it the more people will speak out against you.

  • over 11 years ago

Oh and the nitwit better be careful with all his naming and shaming on stopphoulplay, no shocker he doesnt understand what civil trouble you can get into over selective quoting of people. Obviously from his "The final decision concerning the legality of a system such as Phorm’s, however, lies squarely in the courts of law." he doesnt even realise for a court to have to look at phorm and its legality in the first place isnt exactly a good thing... DOH!!!

  • over 11 years ago

phorm must have got bored with others monopolising the process of making them look bad and decided to join in themselves - there's no other reasonable explanation for the petulant bilge on stopphoulplay. As someone said on The Register:

"A whole website dedicated to Kent Ertugrul throwing toys out of his pram".

  • carrot63
  • over 11 years ago

No mention yet of the former Home Office minister who was on the BT Board (whose name might not be on any of these emails but whose influence is).

And the former Chief Technology Officer at BT Retail at the time of the denied trials, who shortly afterwards found a new job. As Chief Technology Officer at Phorm.

Follow the money.

  • c_j_
  • over 11 years ago

And Kip Meek, special advisor to Lord Carter on Phorms board.

No mention of the Internet principles in the interim Digital Britain report - apart their being no need for neutrality.

Or Ammentment 52a in the EU Universal Service Directive due for voting on May 5th in Brussels - which softens the 'choose to refuse '-

  • mikeblogs
  • over 11 years ago

Many including me have long suspected that the government (be it tories or labour) have colluded with businesses, but this is the strongest indication yet of some sort of evidence.

  • chrysalis
  • over 11 years ago

quote"Many including me have long suspected that the government (be it tories or labour) have colluded with businesses, but this is the strongest indication yet of some sort of evidence."
Government in this country will sniff around and grin like halfwits if they think it will make them money or benefit them in another way. Law and government in the UK is no longer here to protect or aid its citizens or make sensible decisions. France will send us another lot of benefit claiming refugees soon but Mr Brown and his crones don’t want the honourable Ghurkhas to stay here!!!

  • over 11 years ago

DoverWatch has an interesting post on Phorm's use of "de-humanising" labels to describe it's critics.

  • Silvereyes
  • over 11 years ago

They have to be snyde about it, who in their right mind is going to let someone monitor everything they do online? Only a complete idiot in my opinion. When have the politicians ever done anything for the good of the majority? Never. And I agree with capetburn about the Ghurkhas? I wouldn`t mind paying for them to stay here, instead of being forced to pay some assylum seekers bills for 6 months out of my council tax.

  • drone69
  • over 11 years ago

No one has asked yet why the Home Office should want to collude with a Phorm company that wants to monitor peoples Internet activity. Now more than ever do I have suspicions that Phorm is just the thin end of the wedge.

  • Canopus
  • over 11 years ago

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