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-   -   Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797] (https://www.cableforum.uk/board/showthread.php?t=33628733)

Sirius 26-02-2008 18:01

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by none (Post 34495970)
Spoke to The Information Commissioner's Office - http://www.ico.gov.uk/ and they say they are 'looking into it'. You can ring them on 01625 545 745, so at least the powers at be are aware of current events.

So until this story fully unfolds my advice would be to use TOR - http://www.torproject.org/ and take back the some of that privacy and anonymity that our ISP's have so 'kindly' tossed into the bin!

Nice one. I have just installed TOR :tu:

Traduk 26-02-2008 19:08

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]
 
There is an incredible irony in the stance UK ISP's take which looks like double standards in the extreme. The government has charged ISP's with the task of stamping out file theft (music and video) by early 2009 and the ISP's respond with their age old argument by drawing an analogy with the post office and claiming that they cannot look inside those packets to determine contents. It is a good analogy inasmuch as it takes a judge to sign off on mail interception but I suspect the motivation is not privacy related but cost related with no reward.

However when there is a carrot of a good little earner for spying on customers and intercepting surfing patterns it would appear that the Post Office analogy falls down. If our letters were opened and some advertising spam stuffed inside commensurate with the contents I dare say that the outcry would give the perpetrators a business lifespan of hours.

I see that from the reports linked within this thread that BT is expected to make £85 million by 2009. On the basis of BT's turnover (billions) that is a pathetic little sum and hardly worth the effort if there is a risk of seriously upsetting customers. Therein lies a point of interest which I will never forget and that was the comment from a senior director or CEO of NTL when it was stated that customers are confusing bits with bytes, kilos with megas etc which all basically added up to an insult aimed at the customer base which implied that they are all unsophisticated Joe six-packs.

The ADSL ISP I also use has a mainly business orientated client base and they would know for sure that a stunt like this would turn them into an ex-ISP in very short order. This prospective invasion of privacy is IMO an act of contempt against the customers and displays pretty well how we are valued.

I sincerely hope that this forum has more clout than the numbers of members because a few hundred votes in a group of 10K will be treated with derision against a customer base of millions by upper management.

none 26-02-2008 19:26

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 77 & 102]
 
Quote:

Thanks for this - Keep us updated with any information you get back from them
Will do, although I was informed that any updates on this issue would be posted via their website, Im assuming they mean via their e-newsletter & alerts - http://www.ico.gov.uk/tools_and_reso...nd_alerts.aspx

Quote:

infact if more people phoned up to complain the better.
Totally agree. The more people that ring up and complain the more chance there is that the ICO will resolve this whole debacle, either one way or the other. That number again is 01625 545 745. You can also complain via letter using THIS prepared form if you so wish. More info here - http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/data_protection.aspx


Quote:

Nice one. I have just installed TOR
Good stuff. I know it can be painfully slow at times, but can’t complain as it is after all free \o/

Mick 26-02-2008 21:05

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
FAQ added in post 1 and News item updated to reflect recently posted information in this thread.

Daveoc64 26-02-2008 21:13

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
I strongly dislike the idea, purely because it means that all websites will have to be screened and edited to suit the ISP's system.

Also, presumably it will filter out ads on sites (such as this one), replacing them with generic ads taking revenue away from those sites.

Plus I can see it being unreliable and targeting things that look like ads, but aren't.

Also, the opt out system is woefully inadequate. I use several computers and browsers and cookies are frequently cleared.

Toto 26-02-2008 21:21

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
Curious, how does TOR (The Onion Router) preserve my privacy when all it is is a glorified NAT or Proxy. Phorm say that they don't collect IP information, so how does TOR fit into the equation?

Daveoc64 26-02-2008 21:34

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Toto (Post 34496144)
Curious, how does TOR (The Onion Router) preserve my privacy when all it is is a glorified NAT or Proxy. Phorm say that they don't collect IP information, so how does TOR fit into the equation?

Presumably anyone using that service would have their data mixed up with other people's data so it would be much harder to link the usage data with a specific person.

Toto 26-02-2008 21:46

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Daveoc64 (Post 34496158)
Presumably anyone using that service would have their data mixed up with other people's data so it would be much harder to link the usage data with a specific person.

OK, makes sense then.

Stuart 26-02-2008 21:52

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
Can't find it anywhere, so apologies if the following link has been posted: Someone has set up a site about the Phorm system (basically pointing out how it works and why it's a bad idea) and there is an accompanying forum: http://www.badphorm.co.uk

Traduk 26-02-2008 22:59

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
As far as I can see TOR cannot do any good whatsoever if the scanning mechanism is located within VM's network. If packets cannot be seen or identified by VM and routed to the originating IP then you have no internet. If the scanner is located where it can see your IP packets, within VM's network, then it doesn't matter if you have been around the world hopping anonymously from node to node because your packets ain't coming back if VM cannot route them and anything looking over VM's equipment's shoulder can see what you see.

I do not think privacy advocates ever thought that people's own ISP's would fit spying equipment which is about as difficult to protect against as having someone sitting beside you reading your screen.

bw41101 26-02-2008 23:31

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
With regard to this issue and whether there are applications (out there) to circumvent the system - TOR being discussed. I believe (for Firefox users) there already is an extension to tackle this particular issue, namely TrackMeNot.

To quote from the representative extension website: "TrackMeNot is a lightweight browser extension that helps protect web searchers from surveillance and data-profiling by search engines. It does so not by means of concealment or encryption (i.e. covering one's tracks), but instead, paradoxically, by the opposite strategy: noise and obfuscation. With TrackMeNot, actual web searches, lost in a cloud of false leads, are essentially hidden in plain view. User-installed TrackMeNot works with the Firefox Browser and popular search engines (AOL, Yahoo!, Google, and MSN) and requires no 3rd-party servers or services."

Forgive me if this has already been suggested, but I couldn't bring anything up in the searches, anyway it's (at least) worth a try.;)

Si thee

none 27-02-2008 09:34

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
There’s a really well written complaints template HERE. Download it, print it, post it, exercise your right to complain to Virgin about this gross invasion of our privacy.

Quote:

As far as I can see TOR cannot do any good whatsoever if the scanning mechanism is located within VM's network.
Until more is known about how exactly our clickstream data is being passed to this third party, I would still recommend using TOR as it certainly can do no harm, and will quite possibly provide some degree of privacy and anonymity for those that want it.

melevittfl 27-02-2008 10:03

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Traduk (Post 34496268)
As far as I can see TOR cannot do any good whatsoever if the scanning mechanism is located within VM's network.

I do not think privacy advocates ever thought that people's own ISP's would fit spying equipment which is about as difficult to protect against as having someone sitting beside you reading your screen.

No, TOR would work to defeat this.

A TCP/IP packet is made up of header information (where the packet came from and where it's going) + data. Yes, the ISP can see that packets containing data are travelling from your machine to another machine on the Internet. But each packet contains data that is encrypted.


TOR is a "network on top of a network". The packets enter the TOR network on your system and exit on a random system somewhere else, encrypted on the way. So, they won't be able to see which website your visiting because all they will see if encrypted packets passing over their network. And, even if they see the packets leaving the TOR network, they won't know where the packets originally came from.

TOR actually was designed with the idea that the ISP might be spying on people, where ISP equals the government.

none 27-02-2008 10:43

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
Quote:

No, TOR would work to defeat this.

A TCP/IP packet is made up of header information (where the packet came from and where it's going) + data. Yes, the ISP can see that packets containing data are travelling from your machine to another machine on the Internet. But each packet contains data that is encrypted.


TOR is a "network on top of a network". The packets enter the TOR network on your system and exit on a random system somewhere else, encrypted on the way. So, they won't be able to see which website your visiting because all they will see if encrypted packets passing over their network. And, even if they see the packets leaving the TOR network, they won't know where the packets originally came from.

TOR actually was designed with the idea that the ISP might be spying on people, where ISP equals the government.
great explanation :) , hopefully that should help set some worrying minds at rest.

Traduk 27-02-2008 14:01

Re: Virgin Media Ad Deal [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77 & 102]
 
Melevifftl,

Yes I am wrong in my assumptions. I have read the Tor documentation and it does look as though Tor will provide privacy against ad spies even within VM's network.

I have tried Tor albeit a long time ago when it was discussed in a American forum's security section. The package to run Tor appears to require Privoxy + Tor + within Firefox Switchproxy (to turn it on\off). Times may have changed but because it was so slow, back then, that I uninstalled it all within hours.

In the past my interest in privacy add ons was primarily curiosity but with the levels of online financial transactions climbing towards becoming the norm for almost all such transactions, privacy is becoming essential. It never fails to surprise me just how much information is required for an online transaction before a secure server (https) is switched and the padlock closes.

Thanks to the poster on Trackmenot. As that just constantly sends queries to multiple search engines whilst Firefox is open it strikes me as though a search engine owner could consider the product and user as maliciously adding to a flooding of their system. I will not use the product but thanks for the info.


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