Monday, April 14, 2008

If the Royal Mail/Post Office introduced Phorm ...

I heard an interesting definition of Phorm on Radio 4’s iPM podcast (itself described as a blog with an associated radio show):

“It’s just like if the Post Office suddenly decided they’d open all of my letters in order to find out what I was interested in so that people could send me a better class of junk mail.” Richard Clayton (Foundation for Information Policy Research)

I’ve no real desire to add to the acres of words—not to mention the eons of electrons—that have already been expended on probing and analysing the use of Phorm by a number of Internet Service Providers (including BT, Talk Talk and Virgin Media)* to inspect user’s traffic and target their advertising accordingly.

It’s been described as controversial and the legality of some aspects of the transparent service have also been questioned (specifically around the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 that protects users from unlawful interception of information). Understandably, there’s been a lot less mention of the anti-phishing protection and fraud detection that Phorm would enable!

There’s a Phorm Town Hall event in London at 6.30pm on Tuesday night (15 April) where you’ll be able to hear Richard Clayton speak along with representatives from Phorm.

The Lecture Theatre, Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG

Update - Tuesday - Darren Waters is live blogging the public meeting across at ...

(* In the interests of full disclosure, I work for one of the telcos in question ... though I've no more idea of how Phorm is being used than what I read online and in the press.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Think part of the reason for lack of discussion about Phorm's alleged "anti-phishing protection and fraud detection" is that it appears to be entirely in Kent Ertugrul's mind :)

There really isn't any!

(From someone with a similar employment background, who doesn't know much more than what Phorm have publicly said!)