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UK ISP TalkTalk Caught Monitoring Its Customers 139

An anonymous reader writes "The UK ISP TalkTalk has been caught using a form of Deep Packet Inspection technology to monitor and record the websites that its customers visit, without getting their explicit consent. The system, which is not yet fully in place, ultimately aims to help block malware websites by comparing the URL that a person visits against a list of good and bad sites. Bad sites will then be restricted. TalkTalk claims that its method is totally anonymous and that the only people with visibility of the URL database itself are Chinese firm Huawei, which will no doubt help everybody to feel a lot better (apply sarc mark here) about potentially having their privacy invaded."
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UK ISP TalkTalk Caught Monitoring Its Customers

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  • tsk tsk (Score:2, Interesting)

    by frenchbedroom ( 936100 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @06:01AM (#33041962)

    Such A Shame, Talk Talk. It's My Life, you Dum Dum Girl !

  • by myxiplx ( 906307 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @06:04AM (#33041982)

    The thing is, if you ignore the sensationalist headline and look at what there doing, it's just a list of websites that are accessed over their network, which they're using to create an opt in filtering system.

    Oh no, an ISP actually doing something useful for it's customers, whatever will we do!

    Stories like this are what annoy me about the press (slashdot included).

  • Re:Twas ever thus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @07:19AM (#33042362) Homepage

    That's a very cool site, best description of the data protection act that I've read. It still leaves me wondering how the DPI that TalkTalk performed would breach it though. If they pass URLs to a third party without anyway to lookup who requested each URL then it doesn't count as personal data under the act. I also see that any personal data they did pass on would have been legal as long as it was correct and TalkTalk actually told people what they were doing (not that they did).

    Why would wiretapping legislation be relevant? It wouldn't be a great stretch if this were some third-party breaking into the line between TalkTalk and its customers, but it is not. This is the ISP looking at the data that it has been sent - that is a huge stretch of wiretapping legislation and it is not clear that it would apply at all.

  • Re:Twas ever thus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by makomk ( 752139 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:27AM (#33042848) Journal

    Actually, thinking a bit more, it's worse than that. If you know the URL of a Facebook image, even a private one, you can view the image (there's no access protection on static content like image files) and you can link it back to the Facebook account of the person who posted it. Unless someone's taken special care, this information is very likely to be in TalkTalk's logs.

  • Re:Twas ever thus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:06AM (#33045224)

    If it's malware they're trying to stop and not anything else then they gain little.
    Foolish people who click "OK" to popups asking them to install anything and everything constitute an almost perfectly random search.

    Better to just get a list of sites which serve malware from one of the companies which track such things and re-direct traffic for them into a hole.

    this seems less innocent the more I think about it.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.