Posts tagged phorm
Just to let the visitors of any domain I own and operate know that I have submitted a request to BT that they hold no permission to intercept traffic to or from my sites and should remove my sites from their profiling system.
If you own any websites, I fully recommend you do the same by following this link – you’ll be joining many people including Amazon.com in standing up for our rights.
The message sent to them is included below.
I wish to have the following domains and any subdomains within to be excluded from your illegal wiretapping service known as “webwise”.
Phorm DO NOT have any permission to intercept or disseminate the information contained on these sites, it is a gross abuse of privacy and of data neither you nor phorm own.
Please join this stand as well as inform as many people as you can about the sleeze, collusion and abuse perpetrated by BT, Phorm and the UK Government when it comes to the logging of everything you do on the internet.
And for those who think “well, I’m not bothered about them seeing that I visit pets.com every month” you need to wake up, your privacy is one of the most important things in your possession. Just because you see no value in it, doesn’t mean there isn’t any.
It is a cornerstone, a pillar (and any other metaphor) of democracy. With it, a government cannot control its population. Without it, we are naked and open to abuse – just look at the use of employee blacklists for examples of how your privacy can be abused and the absence of it used to deny you access to essential things even when you have done nothing other than voice an opinion.
Just remember that Phorm used to be known as 121media, a known spyware/malware company, and that their technology matches up perfectly to the aims of the telecommunications bill that proposes all internet traffic be monitored.
Now do you understand why the UK Government has been turning a blind eye to the crimes committed by BT and Phorm? Do you realise why, when asked by the people they are supposed to work for (that’d be us), the UK government simply use excuses that do not stand up in a court of law (no bad intent, it’s too complicated to explain to you).
Please, spread the truth about Phorm and educate as many people as possible about why it’s wrong. And hit them in the pocket too by opting your websites out of their abusive system.
Links of interest.
I appologise, I’m 5 days late for this since it happened on the 22nd. Please check out the OneWebDay site for the 2009 event.
For this years OWD I thought I’d cover the 14 or so years that I have been a citizen of the net.
Has it really been 14 years?
More than anything else, the net has really impacted my life and changed the way I do things, the circle of people I interact with and alters my world view more in 1 week than years without it.
Yet, I have to remind you that our great internet is under threat. The freedoms and borderless existance the internet represents has countless countries and corporations scared and concerned.
Through the abuse of technologies such as DPI, web proxies and QoS we are encountering ISPs that will restrict the use and/or bandwidth of specific apps and filters certain dangerous information under the guise of anti-piracy, anti-terrorism and chilld protection campaigns. Yet this is the digital equivelant of burning books (blocking access) and misinformation (altering the data in the stream before it reaches you).
Then we have the assumed – grossly mistakenly – beneign use of DPI in order to extort money out of your privacy monetise their customers in behavioural tracking and analysing in order to serve you ads by scum such as Phorm in the UK and NebuAd in the USA. I recommend everyone reads The Register’s fantastic coverage of this governmental corruption laden scheme. Your jaw will struggle to get up off the floor once you see what is being done under the guise of “improving your net experience”.
Because, in their twisted little minds, the net is such a better place when the adverts are relevant to our interests – ignoring the fact that 99% of people consider ads on the net to either be noise or simply a stopgap measure to fund a cool site until a real revenue stream can be found.
If you happen to visit a site that finds its way onto the government No-No(tm) list then you can expect a knock on your door and your equipment stolen.
Your crime? Reading and learning.
By all means, keep tabs on things but knowledge should never be restricted just because some people might use it to do bad things. This is a very slippery slope that we really shouldn’t tread.
Information should be set free, hopefully the taste of freedom we have gained so far will be strong enough for us to fight for it.
For if we don’t protect it, the greatest development of the modern world will become a sterile, government and corporate sanctioned waste of time.
Holy mother fucking crap.
Have a read of this register story and try to stop yourself from foaming at the mouth in rage.
The UK government are flat out refusing to punish BT and Phorm for the total abuse of privacy on the grounds that “it’s too hard to explain to you simpletons” and so it’s best we let them continue shafting your privacy because it gives
them comfortable pensions and kickbacks BT profits.
How difficult is it to say “BT are providing access to everything you do on the net to an outside company with a history of spyware production in exchange for money you will never see a share of, but it’s ok because they promise that they’ll make it anonymous and that they won’t look at anything sensitive”.
If you ever want to see how they’re not looking out for the best interests of the citizens they are meant to work for and instead wish to only line their own pockets and keep their friends and family rich at the cost of the the citizens taxes and privacy then this is a perfect example of corruption between a government and the corporations that operate in its jurisdiction.
Roll on the EC and stomp the fuck out of both the BT and the UK government.
I fully recommend that everyone writes a letter to Commisioner Vivian Reding and inform her about your fears and concerns as well as requesting thsi be investigated and criminal proceedings started against the members of government that refuse to uphold the law and the companies involved.
Since feb, I have been following the story of Phorm in the UK and doing my hardest to make others aware of what is going on.
The register has been the best for coverage, with the guardian doing some good work too, but this news has been largely ignored by the rest of the media and the BBC posting totally pathetic stories that were nothing more than copy and pastes of the PR crap spewed by phorm themselves – absolutely ZERO journalism on the part of the BBC, no effort at all to investigate! Way to go you corporate shills.
If you want to know about Phorm and their plans to snoop on your browsing habits, here is a round up of all the stories run by the register – here.
So, what exactly is happening with this phorm (also known as webwise, with their ad banner network known as OIX) “service”?
In basic terms, phorm install some equipment at your ISP known as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) switches.
They have been trying to make it opt out buy presenting you with a webpage asking if you wish to use webwise which must be done per browser per user and clearing away your cookies enables the “service” once again.
Whenever you access a website, phorms DPI switch will intercept your traffic, analyse it for key words and store the result of that analysis in categories next to a unique number that is associated with you.
This will happen REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU OPTED OUT OR IN, opting out will only stop you from seeing ads based on the results of the analysis of your browsing habits, it DOESN’T STOP YOU FROM HAVING YOUR BROWSING BEING SNOOPED ON.
Sounding like a great thing yet?
They try to say that because they don’t hold anything other than these categories and a number, that it is completely anonymous.
But what if the switch that is performing the analysis with the raw data before they have “anonymised” it gets compromised by someone looking to gather peoples identities?
You might be “anonymising” it now, but what about feature creep? What about being bought out by people who don’t care about “anonymising” this data?
There is nothing to say that this would be set in stone!
For now, you will not be getting any adverts “injected” into the sites you visit, it will only show up targeted ad’s based on your browsing habits if the site is a customer of phorms OIX ad banner network based on the cookie that was dropped onto your system when you opted in or out.
Many geeks have raised a valid point about this very cookie… it represents a security risk! The data can be rewritten by others and could be used to find a way to compromise your system!
Now, for the moment this snooping is only happening on port 80 (which is the port used for websites) but there is nothing to stop “feature creep” from adding all the other ports so that everything you do on the net can be analysed.
Imagine it, you have just spent the past 3 hours playing a game online and you do a little bit of browsing when all the sites that use OIX start showing you ads for games and gaming related hardware… been playing an old game? maybe the ads will be of video card and newer pc’s..
At the end of the day, this is a complete destruction of your privacy so that your ISP can make money from your browsing habits. They try to claim that webwise will improve your security by blocking phishing sites.. well, there are plugins available for your browser that already do this, and without snooping on your browsing in the process.
And onto the sad news, it appears the UK government don’t want to do a single fucking thing about this massive abuse of your privacy by a commercial entity. You try to report this to the home office, the IOC, OFCOM, the police and your MP’s and pretty much all of them will either wash their hands of you and/or the problem or will play pass the idiot with you and send you onto another department.
If you thought it couldn’t get any worse, then it can.. it appears that members and ex members of the UK government are actually members of the board at some of the companies involved, most noticably a certain Patricia Hewitt is a non-exec director at the ISP that is trying to push this the hardest (BT) after leaving the employment of the government!
If you wish to read more about this please visit badphorm.co.uk.
And now to the bad news for you americans… systems such as phorm are rampant in the US and you have had pretty much a complete media blackout over it!
Such companies as NebuAd, Frontporch, Adzilla and Project Rialto are working with the big US ISP’s, with NebuAd claiming to already be snooping on about 10% of *all* US netizens due to their deals with, amongst others, Charter Communications.
But, it’s not all bad news. Despite this being pretty much unreported in the US media, it has reached the ears of some of your elected officials who have begun asking questions and sending out letters asking to know more about what they do and the legality of their “services”.. This register story covers it.
So, despite a media storm going on here in the UK, we have largely margionalised MP’s fighting for us and we have government advisory panels saying that phorm and their kind are illegal, the UK government is still turning a blind eye.
While it at a far more advanced stage in the US, you are finally getting members of congress to pay attention… all that is needed now is for the british and american general population to be informed about this abuse of our privacy and maybe we can get somewhere, though I don’t hold my breath of anything good happening in good old corrupted UK.
due to the whole piss poor coverage of one of the most disturbing erosions of our privacy I sent the following message to the BBC
are you deliberately making a poor effort at reporting phorm?
so far you have simply spewed out the disinformation served up by phorms PR companies and you seem fixated on the cookie when the real issue is that of the users entire data stream being passed through phorms DPI switches.
Even if you wish to leave the technical side alone, you should make it very prominent that all of your “internet data” passes through their profiling systems regardless of whether you have opted in or out.
You are also ignoring the fact that BT and phorm broke the law in snooping on what is believed to be up to 100,000 people without their knowledge in what is easily the single largest “wiretap” operation. Couple this with how the UK government is spinning a web of lies so they don’t have to do anything and we have a massive story going on that every damn media company *refuses* to do their journalistic duty and report upon it.
Please, sack your tech journo’s cause they have no clue about technology and you as an entity seemingly have no interest in covering one of the greatest erosions of our privacy in the past 10 years.
Hell, I’ll write for you on this subject if you want at least you’d have an informed story for once!
Hopefully they’ll get a clue and stop writing shite, tho I don’t hold much in the way of hope.