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Thinktank warns Home Office about stance on Phorm Technology

The Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR) sent an open letter to the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, criticising the decision of the government to rubber stamp the technology.

According to the FIPR, the Home office's previous statement is now obsolete and misleading "in the light of new technical and legal analysis of Phorm's system".

Research carried out by Dr Richard Clayton, FIPR's Treasurer and Nicholas Bohm, its General Counsel have revealed that the technology employed by Phorm includes:

* interception of communications, an offence contrary to section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
* fraud, an offence contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006
* unlawful processing of sensitive personal data, contrary to the Data Protection Act 1998

This, they say, makes the individual directors and Managers of Internet Service Providers directly liable to prosecutions.

But it could well tank up as security firms like Sophos, could stepped up and block Phorm cookies which record the user profiles; something like anti adware like Search and Destroy or AdAware already do.

Speaking to the BBC, Graham Cluley of Sophos said : "Out aim is to give companies the power to police their user's safe use of the web, rather than disrupt what some may consider legitimate internet traffic."

You can read our coverage of Phorm here.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.