Phorm is thin end of Big Brother wedge
I’d be outraged if I found my postman opening my letters in order to send me a better class of junk mail, or a telephone operator listening in on my calls the better to telemarket to me. And yet that is exactly what my ISP, BT Broadband, is proposing to do – or rather, and worse, proposing to let a third party eavesdrop on my surfing for that purpose (Enemies of privacy, 31 March).
So I am defending my privacy from Phorm. We’ve been called geeks, and we possibly are; but this isn’t some geek issue, like Windows versus Linux, that is never going to engage the attention of non-geeks. This is a case of the potential for very serious erosion of everyone’s privacy; but where the geeks are the ones best placed to understand and counter the spurious technical arguments put up to support this outrageous scheme.
Phorm offers phishing protection that is no better than that offered as standard by modern browsers, and targeted adverts in a medium where all the objective information you could possibly want is easily available.
So we should express our ire at the government instead? Well, perhaps at the rather complaisant opinion that the Home Office gave of the Phorm technology. But if you’re worried about Big Brother, just consider for a moment what a wonderful precedent Phorm would set for something even more intrusive that the government might do; and then consider that sending Phorm away with a flea in its ear will equally tell the government “. . . and don’t you try that, either”.
Not one to instill paranoia into the general populous (name withheld...), but... ...do you really think that some government department somewhere in whitehall, or beyond, is not already doing this?
Posted by: Roy Long | 17 Apr 2008 11:51:57