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Phorm "Edited and Approved" UK Government Advice 126

Barence was one of several readers to send in word that the UK Home Office checked whether its interpretation of the law suited Phorm, before issuing advice on the legality of the controversial advertising service. The Home Office and Phorm entered a dialogue about the company's services back in August 2007, at Phorm's request. In an email sent to Phorm in January 2008, a Home Office official writes: 'I should be grateful if you would review the attached document, and let me know what you think.' After Phorm made deletions and amendments to the document, the Home Office sent another email to the company stating: 'If we agree this, and this becomes our position do you think your clients and their prospective partners will be comforted.' From the BBC: "Baroness Sue Miller, Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on Home Affairs, told BBC News: 'My jaw dropped when I saw the Freedom of Information exchanges. ... Anything the Home Office now says about Phorm is completely tainted.'"
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Phorm "Edited and Approved" UK Government Advice

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  • Terrible summary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @03:21PM (#27749409)

    What is Phorm?
    What is "Home Office"?
    What is the relationship between the two?

    If the summary were a physical object, I'd rate it about a 3 out of 7132.

  • Impressive... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @03:24PM (#27749437) Journal
    That, kids, is what regulatory capture looks like. More specifically, that is what public sector big brother and private sector big brother sharing a big sloppy kiss looks like. Pathetic.
  • Phorm? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @03:24PM (#27749443)

    Am I the only one who has no idea who or what Phorm is?

    For everyone else like me, a quick google search tells me that it is a company that makes advertising software that borders on spyware. I think the UK's argument that Phorm is okay since it can be used in a legal is entertaining. Sounds like the exact opposite argument that the same politicians probably used to shutdown P2P services.

    Ahhh, corruption. Where would democracy be without it?

  • Crap! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DinDaddy ( 1168147 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @03:26PM (#27749465)

    How are we sopposed to threaten to move to another country if they all suck?

    Where's our cheap space travel? Oh, and somewhere to travel to.

  • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @03:27PM (#27749479) Homepage
    I refer the Honourable Gentleman to the reply I gave some moments ago.*

    Specifically, this one []. A quick quote from the relevant bit:

    " ... some time later I had a reply from the Cabinet Minister under whose remit this fell....And that reply was awful. Essentially it was Phorm's press release. Not even regurgitated - the documents were straight from Phorm."

    Was clear that the ministerial office and Phorm were either working rather more closely than they let on, or that the Minister in question had no clue and simply took everything on trust from Phorm.


    *A UK Parliamentary phrase, for those that don't recognise it.
  • Re:Phorm? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @03:35PM (#27749577) Homepage Journal

    That's right, the USSR was a ethical paragon & never, ever suffered from corruption. Same with Argentina.

  • Re:Phorm? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by averner ( 1341263 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @04:05PM (#27749943)
    USSR wasn't Communist. Nothing resembling a true Communist country exists in the modern world; just because a country calls itself Communist does not make it so. North Korea officially calls itself a "Democratic People's Republic" - that doesn't make it Democratic either.
  • by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @04:06PM (#27749973) Homepage Journal

    where do we start the easy one home office basically in charge of domestic matters, similar to the foreign office for non domestic matters.

    absolutely no point me rewriting the wikipedia article so heres the link [].

    They were a spywear company now there an advertising company that spies on an Isps customers and scrapes peoples web sites in order to sell advertising to your competitors.

    As a website owner what is particularly objectionable is the scraping of your sites to sell ad space to other companies. Their bot will spider your page and ignore robots.txt unless they say you have specifically blocked google and yahoo. The critical difference between what google and yahoo does and phorm does is google and yahoo spider your site to bring your pages to the attention of people looking for what you offer. Phorm spiders your site in order to bring people to other sites which offer similar things to what you offer. Poaching your customer base in this way with your own marketing materials is well out of order.

    which is perhaps one good reason why this matters if your outside of the UK but with a UK customer base.

  • Re:Chilling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @04:07PM (#27749997)

    The irony of it is that as she's a peer in the house of Lords, she's one of the ones that isn't actually elected to her position ;)

    Perhaps this whole democracy thing is actually the problem ;)

  • Wake up UK morons. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TractorBarry ( 788340 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @04:37PM (#27750497) Homepage

    Another day, another example of the venal, self serving, political class currently running the UK into the ground. I just wish people in the UK would wake up, get off their arses and go out and vote for anything other than the red themed (the one with the rose logo) or blue themed (the one with the torch logo) Conservative parties.

    Honestly just go and vote for absolutely anybody else. Vote Liberal democrats, vote Monster Raving Loony, vote Green, vote for the Miss UK party, just make sure you vote and make sure it's not for either the red or blue parties. if necessary tactially vote to make sure the bastards are beaten. I'd love to see the day when we had a government comprised of an eclectic mix of all sorts of individuals.

    The political class in this country treat its citizens with utter contempt and do not deserve a job of any sort, let alone one that allows them to ruin the lives of everyone else. If they're not putting their hand in our back pockets to pay for yet more luxury furnishings to their second homes (paid for by us) they're desperately trying to find more ways to micro manage and interfere with every last vestige of our personal lives.

    I think Mr. Coleman (Killing Joke) puts it best in Implant with the line "You don't want to protect, you just want to fucking control".

    Oh never mind Eastenders is on in a minute, followed by Match of the day, and it's all too difficult to think about. I suppose people do get the governments they deserve after all...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @05:58PM (#27751989)

    A goose step is a military parade marching style. I don't know if I'd call it gleeful, but by and large you seem to be describing the same thing.

  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RiotingPacifist ( 1228016 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:04PM (#27752065)

    I regretfully inform you that all communication with Honorable gentlemen should consist soley of cheers OR jeers , any dialogue that a child aged 10 isn't capable off understanding would require the Honorable [] gentleman to actually engage his brain more than 30% of the time and this is an unneeded stress and will soon be outlawed all together.

  • Re:Chilling (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @06:20PM (#27752279)

    "The greatest argument against democracy is a five minute chat with the average voter" - Churchill

  • by rts008 ( 812749 ) on Tuesday April 28, 2009 @08:53PM (#27753885) Journal

    While I admire your helpfull attitude, and well crafted post, I regret to inform you: 'whoosh'.

    *note the distinct lack of all caps, and no exclamation marks*

    He has commented on Phorm articles before. He knows what Phorm is, but I think he was just using some form of sarcasm or something to point out bad form in the summary.

    Again, no sarcasm, derision, or other negative agendas were implied, nor designed against you here.
    I just 'know' this character and his sometimes 'dry wit' from past comments. :-)

    BTW, welcome to /., but beware the trolls and pseudo-trolls....(he generally means well, but I am suspect of his sense of humor!-)

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer