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Phorm Results On Monday, Ex-BT Tech Chief Quits

Chris Williams reports on El Reg that Stratis Scleparis, the former BT Retail CTO who jumped ship to Phorm in 2007 after BT’s secret tests of Phorm’s technology in 2006, has now quit the contraversial company.  BT claimed that their testing of Phorm’s technology wasn’t illegal here and their statement didn’t answer questions about the role of Scleparis.  Make of that what you will.

Chris continues:

Phorm is expected to reveal further heavy losses when it announces its half year financial results on Monday…

You don’t say! With no actual revenue earning product that’s really not surprising…

In a statement, Scleparis said: “I am proud of the contribution that I and my team have made in the development of Phorm’s unique online content and advertising personalisation technologies.

At least Stratis admits his part in the secret and illegal tests in 2006 and 2007.  That will be useful when those responsible come to trial.

Scleparis played a central role in the covert trials of 2006 and 2007, when tens of thousands of BT subscribers’ web browsing was intercepted and profiled without their consent. He joined Phorm in October 2007, weeks after the second trial finished.

During his tenure, The Register understands the system has been subject to major reengineering, including development of a network-level opt-out in line with UK ISP demands.

If memory serves network level opt-out wasn’t even considered until the backlash started to gain momentum, so it’s not so much ISP demands as ISP customers’ demands.  Of course, it doesn’t change the fact that interception without a warrant is illegal.  Yes Kent, I’m still harping on about that.

Phorm’s ridiculous smear campaign site has also been rewritten.  You can see the rewrite here.  Click on the more link to see it in full.  The words in white are those originally there.   What’s that I see there? “Privacy pirates”?

Well, September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate day so let me give Kent Ertugrul and the pro-Phormers out there a little message in pirate speak:

“Arr! Emu lad!  I be a Privacy Pirate I be!  Arr! Kent lad!  Hope those results on Monday have got lots of booty for your shareholders!  Arr! Emu lad!”

Just in case anyone thinks I’ve lost it completely, the cry of “Arr! Emu lad!” is a reference to a Spike Milligan “Q” series sketch.

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