back to article American ISP giants: If we Phorm, we'll get consent

After months of controversy over ISP-level ad targeting systems from the likes of Phorm and NebuAd, three of America's four largest ISPs have told Congress that such behavior tracking shouldn't exist unless web surfers give their explicit approval. But the trio don't want legislation that ensures this actually happens. AT&T, …

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RW
Flame

Self-regulation: never works!

Write the law in large letters: anybody Phorming their customers without written, signed consent on paper loses their balls.

No other form of consent has any weight. Ever wonder why your bank won't honor a faxed or photocopied check?

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Stop

They don't *want* regulation ?

Perhaps this in itself is the reason why it NEEDS to be regulated.

Remember the mantra they're so willing to push to paying customers - "nothing to hide, nothing to fear"

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Alien

Alive still :P

http://www.protosec.com

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Thumb Down

We'll let you opt-out...

...but we'll still be able to see what you are doing....

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There seems to be

Little point in legislating in the US, mostly legislation and for that matter the constitution is ignored whenever it suits those in power.

Efros

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Black Helicopters

Explicit approval

Buried in the middle of the TOS paperwork signed at sign up it will read:

"By accepting any and all service(s) from [ISP name] you explicitly approve to have all data passing through or near any of [the ISP's] equipment, hereinafter "the network", cached, copied and stored for use by [the ISP] for any purpose [the ISP] deems fit. If you don't like it, tough shit, it's the same everywhere else so... whatcha gonna do, sucka?"

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Silver badge

Choice?

In order to use their services you will have to consent to the monitoring, it'll be a condition of service. There should be legislation to compel them to offer an equivalent unmonitored service without a speed or price penalty, otherwise you'll be able to get a 64kb service for $50/mo without Phorm, and 8Mb+ for $25/mo with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Read the T & C's

I will bet £100M that when you sign up for the service it will be in the T & C's just like good old FUP when you have a so called unlimited service

Reg can we have a bend over icon please to illustrate corporate attitude to consumers ?

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Stop

Weasels

Listen to the weasels...

"At this juncture, we aren't prepared to embrace legislation,"

No weasels, legislation embraces you, whether you like it or not.

"One of this reasons we are a little unsure about legislation at this juncture is that technology is developing so rapidly - ..."

Listen weasels, spying is spying. Anybody with half a brain can recognise 'slimy and underhand' for what it is.

"Our platform was architected to be a multi-channel ad system,"

Really weasels? so why are they called ISPs? That's Internet SERVICE PROVIDER - means they provide a service to their customers, not farm them like cattle to be milked.

"However, we do plan to reach out to the media at the appropriate time."

I'm sure you already have weasels, the media will love to use your targeting services. Thank goodness for the true investigative journalism and reporting that there is left.

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Pirate

Err, what about copyright, and the web site owners consent?

Just a thought.

A common ingredient of an IT systems catastrophe is a failure to engage with all stakeholders, and understand the impact (and reaction) caused by your clever plan.

If US ISPs can't provide a secure, private data communications system with integrity... How do you think web site creators will respond?

Regulation isn't required, at least here in the UK/Europe. It already exists. Its obvious to anyone who isn't deranged that if you don't have privacy/security/integrity you don't have a trustworthy communication system.

Trust is everything.

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Anonymous Coward

Say wha?

"When the customer ... goes to a web page and ... there is advertising [and] the customer had indicated to AT&T that he doesn't want to be tracked, I can't do anything to protect that customer from other entities who are appearing in that advertising space."

If that's translated to English, does it just say "non-tracked customers will see non-targeted adverts"?

In which case, isn't it just a bleeding obvious statement of the status quo, couched in disingenuously ominous terms?

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@Fuion

WTF is that about?

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Unhappy

Not strictly relevant...

But I wrote to three of my MEPS about signing off on some amendments about online tracking and Phorm. Here's my first response:

>Thank you for your email of 23rd September concerning amendments 133 and 138. These were discussed extensively by our research team in Brussels.

In this instance, I agreed with your argument that amendments 133 and 138

could have potential benefits in limiting government's interference in

citizens' daily lives (although I would rather our Westminster Parliament

pass such legislation). However, we were not allowed to vote on just

amendments 133 and 138. These amendments were amalgamated into a much

larger package of amendments which we had to vote on en bloc. The other

amendments in this package would have been deeply damaging to the UK and we

could not, in all conscience, support them.

This is one of the fundamental problems with European Union legislation:

there is so much of it that we could not possibly vote on everything, one

amendment at a time. On some occasions we have placed 500 separate votes in

under an hour. Accordingly, there is no proper debate on any of these

issues and therefore huge power rests with the research staff in the biggest

Parliamentary groups, who prepare voting lists on behalf of their MEPs.

The absence of genuine debate is one of my main criticisms of this outdated

European Union project. It tries to do far too much, and stifles democracy

as a result.

Yours sincerely

Godfrey Bloom<

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World to ISPs, no one trusts you

If AT&T, Verizon wanted the public's trust then they would not have conspired to spy on the public.

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Flame

Will it all really matter

Especially since they're all going to be draining off a copy for the NSA anyway? After all, one more copy of everything you do online just for a little advertising...what can that possibly hurt? So you see an ad or two. What have you got to hide? After all, we already know all your private business you do on the interweb anyway; banking details, investment details, e-mails, pr0n: not a thing gets by us. We're only doing it for your own good. Think of the children?

p.s., by the way, if you opt out it only really means that we won't send you the ads; we'll still be nosing through all your business.

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