Re: "Privacy International" loves Phorm
I think this is fascinating from a psychological perspective. What might be going through Mr Davies' mind, to compaign for many years in the public interest and then seemingly detonate his own reputation by association with a dodgy company intent on riding roughshod over users' privacy?
One, partial, answer comes from the rather sheepish admission from another member of PI that their funding isn't great and they have make ends meet (but that PI distanced itself from the 80/20 report). This was reported in another Register comment page.
Another factor may be the phenomenon that after building up a reputation, a person can begin to feel invincible - and is therefore confident that being wined and dined by this kind of company is fine and his reputation unassailable. He could be justifying himself by arguing that he has the chance to change what Phorm are doing for the public good; while forgetting what this relationship will look like to the outside world, and the fact that tweaking Phorm's processes doesn't remove the underlying dangers.
Another theory is that it's a cunning plan to actually undermine Phorm, at the same time as extracting a fee. The final report might therefore be full of surprises for Phorm.
No doubt we'll get answers eventually. I suspect there's a TV drama to be made out of it, with a healthy mixture of corporate greed, grass-roots campaigning and larger-than-life personalities. To complete the picture, someone just needs to turn up videos of some of the protagonists in compromising situations... happily, these will be much easier to find when BT, Phorm &co have flushed away the online privacy of the nation.