The Phorm story needs to be on the front page.
Just a bit gleaned from the web.
"Simon Watkin, a Home Office official working with the covert investigation policy team"
The same Simon Watkin that has authority to release the Home Office document, to all interested, stating that Phorm was OK with RIPA.
From: Watkin Simon <Simon.Watkin@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk>
To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Targeted Online Advertising
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 18:02:53 -0000
> On Behalf Of Nicholas Bohm
> Sent: 11 March 2008 4:58 PM
> I now have a copy of a Home Office note dated January 2008. My source
> reports that Simon Watkin said that it could be distributed to
> whomever the source thought would like to see it. It is not
> It is, however, in the form of a pdf of a scanned image, and is 1 MB,
> so I don't propose to circulate it. If someone would offer to host it
> somewhere, and better still host a version converted to text, I'll
> provide a copy.
It says this:
TARGETED ONLINE ADVERTISING: INTERCEPTION OF COMMUNICATIONS OR NOT? IF IT IS, IS IT LAWFUL INTERCEPTION?
Now only a cynic would think that, a free inteception system installed and operated for you in all major ISPs might influence your discision when it comes to calling on the legality of such a system, wouldn't they?
The Phorm systems is great for covert investigations, it's cheaper than setting one up and running it yourselves with the bonus that "it's nothing to do with us, that's a normal part of the ISP network".
Add a set of keywords like Palestine / America / help / fund / fight / support, setup an advert server, subscribe to the keywords and people using them will get served your ad, the ad server logs now have your IP address and they can find out who was assigned that IP from your ISP. Now in their mainds, they have a list of people who may have sympathies with the people of Palestine, in mine they might just have a list of people who read the Guardian online (Guardian use OIX).
Now you might think that the security services tracking baddies is good, it may be, but if so, they should be doing it themselves, not let a third party spy on everyone's browing in order to sell them a new car or holiday, so security services can try and catch a terrorist.
You might let this bloke know what you think too. Call free on 08081 560 099
Michael Downs, service provider specialist at Telindus, network solutions and services provider, sees a bright future for all those involved:
“The launch of Phorm’s Open Internet Exchange (OIX), offering targeted online advertising, is good news for ISPs as it offers them a new, invaluable revenue stream."