Feeds

Prosecutors kick Phorm case upstairs

More delays in ISP wiretapping probe

Boost IT visibility and business value

Prosecutors have further delayed a decision on whether anyone will be prosecuted over BT's secret trials of Phorm's web monitoring system.

The case is now under consideration "at a senior level", the Crown Prosecution Service said in a letter to Alex Hanff, the privacy campaigner who complained after police refused to investigate.

The CPS has been running its own investigation for almost 800 days. Earlier this year it suggested it would make an announcement in November, but that date has now slipped twice.

"I last wrote to you on 26th November 2010 in which I said that I considered it more realistic to suggest that a decision would be made by mid-December," a CPS official said in the letter this week.

"The whole case is under consideration at a senior level and I do not consider that a decision will be made by mid-December.

"I am sorry if I raised your hopes in my earlier letter but at the time that I wrote to you I genuinely thought that the CPS would be in a position to make a decision by the provisional date I gave you. That has not proved possible and very careful consideration of this matter continues."

The letter does not suggest a new date, beyond pledging that a decision will be made as soon as possible.

The case is focused on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which makes interception of communications an offence except in special circumstances, such as by law enforcement agencies under a warrant. Customer consent is required for commercial interception, and BT and Phorm did not attempt to get the consent of the tens of thousands of customers whose broadband traffic was monitored and profiled for advertising in 2006 and 2007.

In deciding whether or not to prosecute, the CPS must consider whether there is a realistic prospect of a conviction on the evidence available, and whether it would be in the public interest.

The outcry when The Register revealed the trials has forced the government to change RIPA to outlaw "unintentional interception" and tighten the rules on consent. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.