Feeds

Cops back in on BT/Phorm case

Plods backtrack on tracking of track-pact

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has called in City of London Police to assist as it decides whether to go to court over BT's covert trials of Phorm's web interception and profiling system.

The City force ran the original criminal investigation into the trials, which saw tens of thousands of BT customers' broadband traffic monitored without their knowledge or consent. The idea of Phorm's technology is to monitor users' behaviour at the ISP level in order to serve them appropriate adverts later. Privacy campaigners consider that this is worse than the tracking cookies already used for such purposes as the user has no visibility of the process and can gain control over it only with the ISP's assistance.

The City of London force declined to discuss its renewed role in the affair today. The CPS said the Square Mile cops have come back on board to assist in ongoing inquiries related to details around its original investigation.

It was claimed by privacy campaigners and legal commentators after The Register revealed the secret trials that BT and Phorm had committed offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which restricts covert wiretapping and interception of communications.

A file of evidence was handed to City of London Police, but detectives halted their investigation in September 2008. In a statement they argued that no criminal offence had been committed because they perceived no criminal intent by the two firms.

Subsequently Alex Hanff, now of Privacy International, wrote to the CPS asking for leave to bring a private prosecution, which prompted the current inquiries by prosecutors.

A CPS spokesman today declined to comment on when a decision over prosecution might be taken.

The prosecution service has previously stated that it is considering expert opinions on the matter. The Register understands it has had some of this expert material on file since January. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.