An article in today’s Sunday Times, highlighted by SpyBlog and Ben Goldacre has revealed what the Sunday Times describes as the “discreet monitoring” or “snoop(ing) on the habits of millions of EE phone customers” as they came out of London’s Oxford Circus station. In other words, EE were monitoring and recording the actions of their customers and giving the data to Ipsos Mori in what is, no doubt a potentially very profitable enterprise.
Ipsos Mori was delighted with the results. In a deal with EE — Britain’s biggest mobile phone company, formed in 2010 from a merger between Orange and T-Mobile — the polling firm had purchased the exclusive use of the phone data and the test run in central London had shown its potential.
There are some serious echoes of Phorm here.
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Today’s Times carries a very interesting front page with the same headline as this post’s title.
Liberal Democrat Stephen Tall’s blog has an analysis of the article and names three of the nine cybersecurity experts who have reportedly challenged the Coalition “government” to drop this cock eyed and illiberal scheme.
VFPJ has been against any kind of state monitoring of the internet since the Labour “government” first mooted the idea. In 2009 I politely told the APCOMMS committee that Parliament is clueless in dealing with technical issues and should seek the advice of a committee of independent experts. Given that they have not, I would dearly like to know the names and qualifications of those who have told the “government” that this monitoring scheme is a technically feasible and good idea.
Let’s see who the control freaks really are. Let’s put their ideas out to peer analysis.
Update: Big Brother Watch has a report including the text of the letter sent to David Cameron. You will see one of the points made is strikingly similar to those made in the campaign against Phorm.