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back to article Home Office misses Brussels' Phorm deadline

The government missed its deadline to respond to European allegations arising from the Phorm controversy that UK internet users are not protected against commercial wiretapping. The European Commission last year set a deadline of 29 December for Whitehall to reply to its reasoned legal opinion that UK privacy laws are not up to …

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FAIL

F**king Muppets

What a bloody useless bunch of f**king brain-dead, moronic, fat arsed, greedy, dishonest, self serving, idiotic, micro-craniumed, stupid, half-witted muppets this government are.

Here's looking forward to the election when we can get a new lot of bloody useless, f**king brain-dead, moronic, fat arsed, greedy, dishonest, self serving, idiotic, micro-craniumed, stupid, half-witted muppets to rule us.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong!

The election won't change the set of muppets responsible for this cock up, because those responsiable are undoubtedly civil servants who are not accountable to the electorate in any meaningful way.

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@Muppets

The people that made the 'oversight' won't be changed by voting in a new government.... it is just the bosses of the bosses that would change.... and as you rightly say, in name only

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Guess who has to pay

Unless of course that was a purely rhetorical question, or less rhetorical than you thought it was, my guess is

Billy Mitchell outta Eastenders.

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Blocking legal action

The HO intention is very simple - delay the changes to the law so that the infringement can't be said to have occurred under UK law (it was legit when it happened) and the limitation period expires on it so no EU action can be taken.

If it costs a few mil to ensure that aim is met so be it. At least big business won't look at HMG and think "well they hung their last partner out to dry..."

Money eh?

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Megaphone

Awaiting answer from my MP

I wrote to my MP last week about this, requesting what UKgov's reponse will be and why it's late. I've not had an answer yet, but I am quite looking forward to finding out what my MP has to say on the matter.

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Megaphone

No response?

Cut off the Government's Internet access!

That'll learn 'em.

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Big Brother

@Cut off the Government's Internet access!

Or if they allow Phorm to be forced on us (or try to force it on us) then we all force a publicly open version of Phorm onto their Internet access. After all they work for us and we effectively employ them, so we should know what they are doing with our money.

Time to play them at their own game. If they have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear. They work for us and are our *public representatives* in government so we have a right to know what they are doing in our name.

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Thumb Up

Ironic...

...that the party so keen on Europe is about to get shafted by it.

Good. The Tory's head-in-sand approach to the EU was why I (probably) voted Labour in 1997, but even a European policy straight out of Dad's Army is better than a domestic policy straight out of East Germany...

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Alert

Don't swallow the bitter pill

There are more than two parties, you know, so there's no need to vote like a Britard if you don't like either Mr Corrupt-Draconian (Lab) or Mrs Horsewhip-Parochial (Con) in your local line-up.

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Re: Ironic…

Hah. Lizards, the lot of them…

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Stop

More tea, Mr Lennox-Brown?

Really, the Commission should be more understanding. When the Home Office does something in less than a year, that's practically instantaneous.

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MJI
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Grenade

Why are they still trading?

Still haven't had the decency to go bust.

Phorm - catch this.

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Paris Hilton

Phorm is like Gary Glitter

Phorm is like Gary Glitter in that, every country it turns up in, it soon gets told f**k off and then has to go halfway around the globe to inflict it's vile on some other poor buggers (and in poorer, less-advantaged countries now too, by the look of things)!!

Paris, 'cus she's been round the block a bit too.

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Big Brother

Can this really be happening in the UK?

This is rapidly turning into one of the most shocking and outrageous criminal corruption scandals in modern history.

The Home Office OSCT colludes with a bunch of Russian/Greek/Turkish/American spyware crooks, and British Telecom directors, to engage in mass surveillance/industrial espionage.

Computer misuse, illegal interception, fraud, copyright infringement is reported, but the police refuse to investigate any and all complaints.

200,000 people have their personal communications processed in secret, but the ICO refuse to act.

The company fails to supply accounts or details of directors to Companies House for three years, but yet hasn't been struck off. The directors are not disqualified.

The CPS have spent approximately 450 days 'reviewing' consent for a prosecution, against an average of just 9 days, and still no one has been prosecuted.

There's been no statement to Parliament by the Home Secretary, or Prime Minister.

Now the UK faces prosecution in the European Court of Justice.

And most of the British electorate have no idea, because the daily papers won't report it.

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FAIL

Penalites

Though it's correct that Phorm have failed to file accounts, how do we know they have not bee penalised by Companies House ?

Their details can be found here:

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/d590707785e2a6f4ed742904877f5655/compdetails

Something is indeed odd - lack of mainstream media interest, unwillingness to pursue - an organised conspiracy is unlikely (motive?) though Phorm seem to be getting very lenient treatment. Hopefully the Koreans will sort them out... the best internet connectivity in the world ruined by Phorm....

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Failure to supply account

"The company fails to supply accounts or details of directors to Companies House for three years, but yet hasn't been struck off. The directors are not disqualified."

That's not a conspiracy or anything corrupt, it's just down to the laziness of CH. There are many other companies that don't supply accounts for many years and don't get struck off, nor do their directors get disqualified. Only if it gets really criminal do CH get their arse into gear.

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Black Helicopters

Why do you find it odd?

There is a clear trail from Phorm to BT vis Stratis Scleparis, the former BT Director who left to become a director at Phorm IIRC. From BT to government is hardly a large leap of faith and to think that government holds no power over the media (particularly the BBC) is naïve at best.

Any well reasoned person could quite clearly draw a line of influence from Phrom, via BT to the Government and to the media. Which direction that line goes between government and BT/Phorm, and whether its end-point lies with Phrom, or with another, more shadowy group is a matter of conjecture.

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Big Brother

"Only if it gets really criminal do CH get their arse into gear"

Criminal, like in at least 50,000 admitted violations of RIPA?

You can bet your arse if it was 50,000 illegal downloads something would've been done!

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FAIL

if the judges find in favour of the Commission?

"if judges find in favour of the Commission." A Belgian government report on its own legal spending referred to cases like this as "lost before they start".

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Welcome

Wouldn't it be nice...

... if the fine was paid out of the party coffers? I think the governing party might be a little more "focused"!

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Big Brother

Fines are useless

Regardless of the specifics of this particular case, imposing fines is a pointless punishment in "white collar"/"corporate" crimes like these. Any fines imposed will not be passed on to the individuals whose decisions were responsible for committing the offences (at least one of whom no longer works for BT and no longer works for Phorm [1]), they will simply be passed on to the people funding the organisation's running costs, ie the taxpayers, customers, etc.

What is needed is the serious prospect of a worthwhile prison sentence, e.g. like you might get if you were convicted of benefit fraud. Only bigger. Madoff-style bigger might be appropriate sometimes. That might focus the mind a little more.

That is all.

[1] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/18/scleparis_phorm_quits/

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Pint

Re: Fines are useless

A fine on BT or Phorm is actually quite reasonable, since it is their shareholders who stood to gain from the action had it gone ahead and who have the power to exact retribution on the directors. Similarly, to fine uk.gov for their utter cluelessness hits those with the power to sort the problem out. In this case it would be those dozy voters who still think we live in a two-party state when in fact the two parties in question can barely scrape the votes of 50% of the electorate between them.

The UK will go on having a moronic government as long as we muppets continue to elect morons to staff it. What part of this do you not understand? (Or are you just depressed that you share this island with such idiots? In which case you have my sympathy. Have a beer, see left.)

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Grenade

You don't really believe what you wrote do you?

Fines on plcs aren't paid by the shareholders. If they're financially significant (which usually they aren't) they're paid by the employees (yet another excuse for no pay rise, no bonus) and more importantly they're paid by the customers when the prices next go up. The shareholders expect their dividend and generally continue to get it. If you have an example (or two) that shows otherwise, I'll be delighted.

Fines on government are paid by the taxpayer, who rarely connect the fine-associated near-negligible rise in individual taxes with the individuals or group actions that led to the fine.

No UK elector voted for Mr Scleparis's dodgy deals (well, they weren't in any manifesto I know of, and he himself has now vanished from t'Internerd).

Of course, if we're talking about MS and daily EU anti-trust fines, payment is entirely optional, as I understand it.

"The UK will go on having a moronic government as long as we muppets continue to elect morons to staff it. What part of this do you not understand? (Or are you just depressed that you share this island with such idiots? In which case you have my sympathy. Have a beer, see left.)"

Don't vote, it only encourages them? I know, it's not the answer. But what is? Guy Fawkes knew.

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Alert

Surely the Hom. Sec...

must be held to account for this.

Personally if need be.

BTW, just who the feck IS the Home secretary these days anyway? Given that the entire cabinet seem to be a collection of "who the fuck?"s as opposed to a "who's who".

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The Broadband Tax

BT: "Look, we've got this thing. It intercepts what people send across the internet and gives them adverts on the basis"

UK.Gov: "Erm, that's illegal under RIPA"

BT: "You want us to upgrade our infrastructure?"

UK.Gov: "Yes"

BT: "Then pay for it"

UK.Gov: "No"

BT: "Well we're not paying for it, it might dent our profits. So let us do this and we'll get some more money, see... and some of that money we may spend on infrastructure!"

UK.Gov: "Hmm, ok."

*later, after the PHORM PHIASCO*

Uk.Gov: "So about that infrastructure?"

BT: "We're still not paying for it. The profit margin is too small"

UK.Gov: "Well, it was the public that stopped you using PHORM."

BT: "Yes..."

UK.Gov: "Let's pop a tax on their ADSL lines. Won't pay by PHORM? They can pay direct. Either way, they're paying".

That's how it seems to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Fining of course doesn't work

against a nation, only against individuals, and a fine against a nation is akin to reparations, and well the last time that was tried it didn't turn out too well did it.

Instead Europe should have a Enforcement Agency that can only effect government workers, including Police, NHS, and MPs. For irony sake (and the long black trench coats) the name Gestapo would be quite cool, but understand that others may want something without the historical baggage, so EuroForce could be it, with the tag line 'Making Sure Governments Give an EF'.

Then they just arrest those in the government who break European Law, take them to the Hague and go all Nuremberg Trials on their collective arses.

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Black Helicopters

EU arrest warrants

Wonder if we can persuade the EU to issue an arrest warrant for the home sec. ? :-p

That'd focus a few minds !

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Anonymous Coward

Hoping for an easier ride

Now that Viviane Reding is being moved on, perhaps uk.gov are hoping (or know for sure) that the new occupant of the office will be a lot more pliant to the needs of them and their business cronies, perhaps even retrospectively giving the flick to the case entirely.

The fact that an EU commissioner was seen as better at looking after the interests of the British electorate than it's own government were must be acutely embarrassing for Labour, not least given the stunningly low regard in which the EU is usually held.

I doubt Labour will be especially keen on pushing their point at the moment - why remind the public that they are so eager to feed voters privacy to the private sector so close to an election they will almost certainly lose. Maybe the tories will manage to repackage data-pimping as a patriotic duty to help reduce the deficit.

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AC@01:06

"Instead Europe should have a Enforcement Agency that can only effect government workers, including Police, NHS, and MPs. For irony sake (and the long black trench coats) the name Gestapo would be quite cool, but understand that others may want something without the historical baggage, so EuroForce could be it, with the tag line 'Making Sure Governments Give an EF'"

Well apart from the *very* suspect fashion statement (and probable illegality of the name in Germany) I like it.

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