* Posts by Oliver Freeman

7 posts • joined 19 Mar 2008

Danish ISP ordered again to block Pirate Bay

Oliver Freeman
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Copyright infringement

If ISPs are now going to have a legal obligation to block copyright infringers does this mean they will have to block BT for infringing copyright via trials/future implementation of Phorm/Webwise?

BT's secret Phorm trials open door to corporate eavesdropping

Oliver Freeman

working link...

My link to the urban dictionary entry was borked. Doh. Heres a working one:


Oliver Freeman

Pass the parcel

Its good to see that the register is still on the case and its good to see lib-dem MP Don Foster is staying closely in touch with all that is going on. This ridiculous (deliberately obstructive?) game of pass the parcel between the ICO, Home Office, Police etc needs to stop. Potentially thousands of criminal offences have been committed in the secret trials of 2006 and 2007 and its time the Home Office did its job and moved to uphold the laws of the land.

If they wont do so then maybe they can be so bold as to point us to a single parliamentary act that they passed giving either BT or Phorm immunity from prosecution? If they cant then they should damn well do what they are paid to do and instruct the police to launch a criminal investigation.

In the mean time here is a link to a new term I have added to urban dictionary "terra-phorming":


Geert Wilders faces legal threats over footage copyright

Oliver Freeman


Europeans are useless? We werent the ones who screwed up the "iraq adventure" by ignoring the generals and sending in only half the troops the generals recommended they needed. That was your boy rumsfeld. We werent the ones who decided to sack the entire iraqi army thereby meaning a few hundred thousand disillisioned sunnis were left with no money and ergo immediately ran off to join the insurgents.

Oh and another thing, its not our boys out there fighting that are useless, its you darn yanks. Your pilots are so useless they cant even tell the difference between an insurgent position and a british army armoured personel carrier. How many british soldiers have your moronic pilots killed. Get a grip

Phorm agrees to independent inspection of data pimping code

Oliver Freeman

To Simon Davies

Once again thank you for your response. I appreciate you taking the time to answer the questions I put to you. I feel I can understand more clearly exactly where you are coming from on this issue.

I am reassured that you seem to be supporting the opt-in model as the most viable option and I hope that this is reflected in your communications with Phorm. To be candid, although I am still passionately and vehemently against what Phorm is going to be doing, if they were to make this system truly opt-in only then I would tone down my opposition to them. For this to be the case, though, those who decide against opting in must have their data bypass all of phorms systems entirely.

One thing that deeply concerns me is the fact that Phorm have stated that "research and debug logs" may be stored for up to 14 days on a seperate system. There has been virtually no information as to what data these logs may contain, whether this separate system will be within the ISP network or even whether they will remain in this country.

The term "research" is the most worrying. Let us not forget that it was under the guise of research that the so-called anonmyised search terms of 600,000 people were released by AOL back in 2006 and the onsuing debacle where it took researchers only hours to track down people from the search data released.

On a final note, having read what you have said regarding FIPR and your not having advised them on their complaint to the Information Commisioners Office, I feel I might have been hasty accusing you of a conflict of interest.

On a different, slightly facetious note, some of us believe Microsoft to STILL be an evil empire but thats a whole other issue *grin*

Oliver Freeman

@simon davies

Simon, may I first thank you for your frank and thorough response to the issues that I and others have raised.

On the issue of a conflict of interest, I think we may need to respectfully agree to disagree. Having said that let me be clear. I dont doubt that your intentions and motives in this issue have been well intentioned. I also have no problem with you trying to earn an honest living from all your hard work in the privacy rights arena over the years.

What I do have a problem with, however, is your involvement with Phorm. This company has a very shady past (under its previous incarnation as 121media) with roots in spyware and rootkits. To use an analogy, while acknowledging that often ex-poachers make the best game-keepers, I can see no shred of evidence showing that this is the sort of situation we are dealing with here with regards to Phorm. Phorm, in my opinion and many others, represents a huge threat to our privacy rights, not to mention being possibly illegal under RIPA, and no amount of fancy PR and spinning is going to change that perception.

In order to clarify matters could you answer some questions for those of us who would value your opinions and continued participation in this debate:

Precisely when did you became aware of Phorms previous involvement (as 121media and peopleonpage) in rootkits and spyware? [Please note that despite Phorms claim to the contrary peopleonpage was NOT adware. Many security companies rightly categorised it as spyware/malware and it caused thousands of people countless hours of frustration trying to get rid of it (thankfully I wasnt one of them).]

Have you discussed this history with Kent Ertegrul and other Phorm company directors? If so, can you give us any reason why we should now trust Phorm to follow through on its promises and reassurances? What are your thoughts on whether Phorm transgresses the RIPA act? What advice did you give to the FIPR before they issued their open letter to the Information Commissioners Office?

On a final note I would like to thank you for releasing the 80/20 report to the media.

Oliver Freeman
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Keep up the good work el reg

Another great article by el reg helping to keep the pressure on. Personally I think Davies needs to examine his conscience and recuse himself from commenting further on this issue. He clearly has a conflict of interest given that hes also a board member of FIPR in addition to 80/20 and Privacy International. I also dont like his response to finding out about Phorms previous involvement with spyware/rootkits. Its more than just a "Steep learning curve" its an absolute disgrace that he did not check into the history of this company given the privacy and legal implications of Phorm's proposals.

As for phorm allowing an indepent expert to examine their code, I dont give a flying rats ass who they get to look at the code. I dont need the pope to tell me that satan is evil. I dont need an expert to tell me that Phorm represents a huge invasion of my privacy. Their PR teams cut and paste responses are laughable too.

The only good thing that has come out of this has been the pleasure gained from watching their share price tank over the last few weeks.

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