This comes after the rescheduling of the Phorm AGM, the departures of two executives, interim results showing a loss of $15 million over the 6 months to 30th June 2009 and a comprehensive overhaul of its websites to try and hide its attempts at smears and its laughable claims of governmental approval.
The FT article makes no mention of the legal and privacy issues which have been highlighted by the backlash against Phorm and other peddlers of similar DPI based solutions which are strongly argued to be illegal under UK law because they intercept communications without a judicial warrant. So the FT gets a big fat FAIL thrown at it. The Times has a brief report on Phorm’s results but also fails to mention these issues. More poor journalism there. FAIL. A better article comes from Charles Arthur at The Guardian.
Phorm have never published a verifiable legal opinion supporting their product’s legality under UK and EU law despite being challenged to do so. Phorm worked alongside BT to undertake secret tests of their technology on BT Internet’s customer base during 2006 and 2007. BT have never published a verifiable legal opinion supporting their secret tests.
Phorm’s decision to put its UK plans on hold can only be seen as a victory for the very people Phorm tried to smear, slur and bully, the people they branded “Privacy Pirates” and The Register whom they branded “a mouthpiece”. But it is only a partial victory.
This decision smacks of a recognition that they are in trouble. Not just financially but legally as well. This smacks of desperately hoping that if they keep a low profile things might just blow over. Phorm may try to keep a low profile, rebuild and come back stronger.
It does not alter the fact that Webwise is illegal under UK and EU law.
There is a reckoning to be had. Executives from BT and Phorm must be brought to full legal account for the thousands of privacy breaches they orchestrated. “Government”, ICO, Police and CPS staff who were complicit in allowing Phorm & BT to proceed without due diligence on their part must also be brought to book.
Nothing less will be acceptable.