cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Phorm

Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 1,093
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎08-04-2007

Re: Phorm

I took a look at the site and the site is basically Anti-BT. Maybe that doesn't make much of a difference to BT 'blocking' it due to the workaround to bypass 'Phorm' but being so negative towards BT, however well-founded the reasoning, is it any wonder they have blocked it?
Highlighted
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 12,512
Thanks: 604
Fixes: 19
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Phorm

It's not BT - it's the site owner who is cutting off BT addresses.
For some reason, he doesn't want his copyright infringed by Phorm.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 610
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Phorm

Just to let you know that my comments did get through to the owner of the Dephormation site (despite my getting the 'blocked' message), and I have had a reply from him. I've asked for his permission to quote it here and will do so if he agrees. I'll also post my response to him.
Highlighted
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 14,757
Thanks: 2,321
Fixes: 158
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Phorm

Would be interested to hear what he says because I see no need for our IPs to be in any block list.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Highlighted
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 12,512
Thanks: 604
Fixes: 19
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Phorm

It's highly likely that anyone who doesn't want phorm creeping over their web pages will block the ip address range of BT - and all it's subsidiaries.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 610
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Phorm

OK, so Pete John (for it is he) has given me permission to reproduce his first reply to me here:
Quote
you may be aware, Plusnet are a wholly owned subsidiary of British Telecom. Some of Plusnets users are even indistinguishable from BT Retail customers (the BTRIN users).
Consequently Plusnet (and Brightview/BT-WLMS/Waitrose etc) users will find it difficult to access some or all of the resources on Dephormation (based on address ranges).
In particular, BT Corporate users can't get to any of it. Instead they get to enjoy Rick Astley 'Never Gonna Give You Up', or Debbie Gibson's 'Shake Your Love' on YouTube.
The purpose of the blocks is to deny content to BT as a whole. The lists include all address ranges owned by BT Group; and include BT Corporate, BT Retail, and all subsidiaries of BT (including Plusnet and others).
Ian Wild (of Plusnet) recently said;
"if the majority of the benefit is given back to consumers and people are explicitly made aware that it's happening with their data, I can't see the problem with approaches along these lines."
>From the perspective of a web master/ecommerce business, that's not an acceptable attitude. Phorm (opt in or out) abuses web site owners copyrights to promote competitors, and intrudes on their private communications to gather marketing intelligence.
Many people (including me) who operate web sites are not particulary pleased to find that the pages they write, and the interactions they have with visitors are being sold to profit BT.
So sorry, its probably not the response you hoped for
regards
Pete.

My response to this was as follows:
Quote
Pete,
Many thanks for taking the time to reply - when I sent the enquiry and got the blocking message I had assumed that it hadn't gone through.
I agree with your general position regarding Phorm/WebWise, regarding it as unacceptable behaviour when looked at from any angle. However, Ian Wild (whom you quoted) stated that, whilst PlusNet have no intention at this stage of getting involved with Phorm he could not definitively rule it out forever. This seems to me to be a reasonable position - no-one knows what the market will be like two to three years down the line and positions may have to change in the light of events. Of course, this would mean PlusNet sawing off the branch it was sitting on, as it would lose a large chunk of its customer base (including me) were it to join the scheme, but I think it unfair to penalise customers of a non-Phorm ISP for the actions of that ISP's parent company, or another section of it.
I'm not sufficiently savvy to know, but is it possible to write a blocking script which would work on the basis of identifying the originating ISP of the traffic rather than just the IP address (I recognise the difficulty of PlusNet's IP addresses being in the same range as some of BT's)? What is happening with the current setup is that PlusNet's customers are being denied the opportunity to protect themselves by being denied access to your add-on (or access to any updates for it). This strikes me as being ultimately counterproductive.
Finally, would you be willing for all or part (specifying *which* parts) of your earlier reply to be quoted on the Phorm-related thread on PlusNet's Community Forum? I posted the other night about the problem with your site and other may be interested in your response.
Once again, many thanks for your time.

His reply to that is:
Quote
Though Plusnet are different in name, they are in effect nothing more than a brand of BT. The profit from Plusnet contributes to BT's bottom line, so I see no reason to differentiate.
I would have preferred to see Ian Wild state 'we will not use Copyright material without licence from Copyright holders, nor will we intercept the private communications that pass over our network, that would be illegal and we will not do it'.
Dephormation add on is a fig leaf, it provides no substantial protection from Phorm at all. If Phorm/BT were to ignore your preference, the ICO, Ofcom, police and all other regulators would not intervene to protect you... accepting assurances from Phorm/BT that it was not intentional, or no personal information was obtained by so doing, or even that your consent could be implied in some way.
So the only effective method of protection is leaving BT (in whatever guise they are trading).

His position is at least consistent. I still think he's wrong, however.
Comments?
Highlighted
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 14,757
Thanks: 2,321
Fixes: 158
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Phorm

He needs to put his claws away is my thinking TBH. There's clearly some hatred towards BT and its actions but there is certainly no need for us or any of the brands we're responsible for to be blocked. AFAIK we contacted the webmaster last week but given the responses I've seen here I'm not holding up much hope.
What does concern me is this:
Quote
Access to this part of the web site has been blocked because your ISP is one known to be using Webwise.

That's absolute fiction.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 610
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Phorm

Quote
That's absolute fiction.

And contradicted by his Cookie Test (see post #431), which says that I'm not with an ISP which is using Phorm.
He seems to have 'issues' here. I'm uninstalling Dephormation anyway, especially as he says:
Quote
Dephormation add on is a fig leaf, it provides no substantial protection from Phorm at all.

Huh
Highlighted
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 12,512
Thanks: 604
Fixes: 19
Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Phorm

Get real!
Obviously he has a standard message for those in the BT address range.
He is obviously not going to waste time fine-tuning the exact message to your circumstances if he chooses not to serve content to you.
This is the dark side of the "benefits" of Phorms spyware - but it's going to be BT that gets the blame (rightly so, in my opinion).
They were warned in advance.
It will be BT's reputation that suffers, if any major sites take the same point of view.
For example Google might not be too happy to see their income stream leeched by BT/Phorm.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Phorm

Quote
Access to this part of the web site has been blocked because your ISP is one known to be using Webwise.

Isn't that defamation? wonder how the plusnet legal department feel about that?
Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Phorm

It's not defamation.
This explains defamation : www.thompsons.law.co.uk/ltext/defamation.htm
Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Phorm

Quote
What is defamation?
Defamation is a false statement made by one individual about another. This statement attempts to discredit that person's character, reputation or credit worthiness. In order to be defamatory, such a statement must be communicated to at least one other person.

I thought that was what had been done?
Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Phorm

No it's not, pierre_pierre.
Rather than taking the thread off in an unrelated direction, I will send you an explanation by PM.
Highlighted
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎23-08-2007

Re: Phorm

Hi Bob,
Quote from: Bob
What does concern me is this:
Quote
Access to this part of the web site has been blocked because your ISP is one known to be using Webwise.

That's absolute fiction.

Given that this is an untrue statement (e.g. false information) then personally I would be contacting this chap and give him the opportunity to retract or amend his statements publicly and remove the blocks he has for Plusnet customers on his website.
If he is unwilling and refuses then you should pass this on your your legal team to deal with. This sort of misinformation will loose you customers, particularly if they believe that Plusnet is or will be taking part in the Phorm trials.
For myself if Plusnet were to implement anything remotely like the Phorm system then you would loose my custom and those of the people I have recommended over the years.
That would be a shame because I have found the Plusnet services to be generally very good but it would be unavoidable given the implicit lost of trust that Phorm and similar systems represent.
Kind Regards
Simon Zerafa

Highlighted
Grafter
Posts: 610
Thanks: 5
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Phorm

Just a small update.
The site owner has now amended the blocking message to:
Quote
Sorry. Access to this page has been blocked.
Access to this part of the web site has been blocked to customers of British Telecom Group, and subsidiaries.
To restore full access to this site, please move to a Phorm free communication company.