It’s OK to wiretap as long as you just archive the tapes

BT targets 10,000 data pimping guinea pigs | The Register:

The trial invitation will be presented through a special web page that will appear when those customers start a web browsing session. At this point, those customers invited can choose to switch on BT Webwise, choose not to take part, or to find out more information. The http://www.bt.com/webwise site also contains detailed information on the service and a one-click option to switch the service off, which can be activated at any point during the trial. The BT Privacy Policy and BT Total Broadband Service Terms will be amended accordingly. BT’s current privacy policy states: “We do not use this [browsing] information to analyse your visits to any other websites.” Once Phorm is deployed that is obviously no longer true. Questions have also been raised over the legality of the system under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). Professor Peter Sommer, a leading expert in computer surveillance at the London School of Economics, believes the only way it will be legal is if the ISPs obtain consent from the user it wants to spy on. As seen in its statement above, BT emphasises that the ad targeting can be switched off easily (it plans to opt-in BT Broadband users when the full system goes live in the fourth quarter of 2008). However, according to a spokesman for Phorm, the way the opt-out works means the contents of the websites you visit will still be mirrored to its system. Profiler hardware (see network diagrams here) will simply not categorise the pages or attempt to serve up target ads. Yet the traffic is still being intercepted as far as RIPA is concerned. BT said: “BT is, of course, aware of the legal requirements regarding interception of communications under RIPA. We consider that these steps [above] will meet the legal requirements of RIPA and also ensure that customers are able to take a fully informed decision as to whether to take the service.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: