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Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]
View Poll Results: Will you be opting out of the Virgin Ad Deal?
Yes, Definitely. 958 95.51%
No, I am quite happy to share my surfing habits with anyone. 45 4.49%
Voters: 1003. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 18-03-2008, 00:55   #1351
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

they know full well what we mean, its just wiggle room for them, lock it down, dont allow them to even wiggle.
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Old 18-03-2008, 02:29   #1352
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Well this is an interesting read hope you all have time to read it.

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?...8&cid=22777122

First paragraph to get you all in the mood.

Quote:
Here are the notes I took from a sales pitch to a client. Although NDAs were passed around, all of the technical and business consulting staff refused to sign them, so this information is freely available and can in no way be considered a trade secret. Some of my notes come from other people's observations in the ensuing PR war. Phorm's sales teams have been aggressively targeting large ISPs with low margins around Europe and the US in the last year or so. They only pitch to board level decision makers, and like to avoid providing any technical detail whenever possible.
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Old 18-03-2008, 03:24   #1353
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Well this is an interesting read hope you all have time to read it.

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?...8&cid=22777122

First paragraph to get you all in the mood.
Well now, that's interesting reading and rather backs up my point from earlier about their standard response. The rest rather backs up pretty much every concern mentioned in this thread.

*wonders if this information has been passed to the ICO and the ISPs considering Phorm*
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Old 18-03-2008, 06:38   #1354
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptJamieHunter View Post
Well now, that's interesting reading and rather backs up my point from earlier about their standard response. The rest rather backs up pretty much every concern mentioned in this thread.

*wonders if this information has been passed to the ICO and the ISPs considering Phorm*
This is the bit that EVERYONE should take note of
Quote:
I will add that the people behind Phorm have been developing and selling malware and adware for a number of years, and apparently made enough money off of an impossible to uninstall adware toolbar to fund this latest push into malware distribution. Their programmers are mostly Saint Petersburg based, home to the Russian Business Network [slashdot.org]. Their servers are kept only in Saint Petersburg and China, so no ISP customer data is ever stored in the UK. Any personally identifying information they obtain about UK citizens can never be seen or purged using existing UK Data Protection Laws. They run under dozens of different domain names, the name of the company has changed from PeopleOnPage to 121media and recently changed from sysip.net to Phorm. This is typical of a company that knows it will have to shed it's tarnished brand every year to stay ahead of public outcry. I expect they already have their next brand lined up when they need to burn the Phorm brand.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has seen their presentation, and held a press conference yesterday to try to stop the practice cold. Even if Phorm is stopped dead tomorrow, the business conditions and legal loopholes are still present to encourage ISPs to try this again and again, and it will certainly be much worse in the US where there is absolutely no legal protections at all, and a ready market for personal data.
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Old 18-03-2008, 08:43   #1355
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

As Virgin Media have contracted with Phorm I think we can assume that monitoring equipment is in place and we have little chance of changing that fact.

There is still a route of action which we can follow. There have been a number of posts to this thread suggesting the use of Firefox and Adblock Plus. If we adopt the use of these technologies en-masse then we deny Phorm their source of revenue by not following links to targeted advertisements.

So, do something proactive, install Firefox and the Adblock Plus and Adblock Filterset.G updater plugins and send a message to Virgin Media and Phorm that users are prepared to deny them revenue from our surfing.
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Old 18-03-2008, 09:03   #1356
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by daemon View Post
As Virgin Media have contracted with Phorm I think we can assume that monitoring equipment is in place and we have little chance of changing that fact.

There is still a route of action which we can follow. There have been a number of posts to this thread suggesting the use of Firefox and Adblock Plus. If we adopt the use of these technologies en-masse then we deny Phorm their source of revenue by not following links to targeted advertisements.
When doing this, please bear in mind that a lot of websites (like cableforum) are entirely funded by ads.
Quote:
So, do something proactive, install Firefox and the Adblock Plus and Adblock Filterset.G updater plugins and send a message to Virgin Media and Phorm that users are prepared to deny them revenue from our surfing.
Actually, the best way to hurt them is to change ISP and when retentions ask for a reason, blame Phorm.
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Old 18-03-2008, 09:39   #1357
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
There is still a route of action which we can follow. There have been a number of posts to this thread suggesting the use of Firefox and Adblock Plus.
Quote:
When doing this, please bear in mind that a lot of websites (like cableforum) are entirely funded by ads
So what is the official cableforum line on using ad blocking software? You would obviously prefer that we didn't? As I've said before, I didn't know that cableforum had adverts, as I've never seen any. Should you not make it clear when people join that you would prefer them to turn off any adblocking software?

You surely want people to click on the ads, as it gains income for you, yet you are against Phorm which says it would deliver more targeted and relevant adverts!

So at the end of the day, what would you rather have - Cableforum showing irrelevant ads to its users (waste of time and space), or Cableforum showing relevant ads, thereby increasing your income? Exactly how much income does cableforum gain from advert clickthroughs? Have you thought about making Cableforum ad-free and asking for donations instead? Hows about getting relevant companies to sponsor you in return for their ads being hard-coded into the forums? Will cableforum be signing up to Phorm? If not, why not, after all, wouldn't relevant ads be better for both you and us than non-relevant ones? If you are against Phorm because you value your users privacy then why are these forums viewable by everyone instead of just members only? What is cable forums policy on allowing Phorm type software to intercept data relating to Cable forum?

Not trying to be nasty here, just trying to find out what the views of the owners of Cableforum are, and how you intend to safeguard our data . . .

On a side note, http://finance.google.co.uk/finance?q=phorm makes for fascinating viewing, far better than any TV prog!
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Old 18-03-2008, 10:05   #1358
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by manxminx View Post
So what is the official cableforum line on using ad blocking software? You would obviously prefer that we didn't? As I've said before, I didn't know that cableforum had adverts, as I've never seen any. Should you not make it clear when people join that you would prefer them to turn off any adblocking software?
We have no official line, as far as I am aware. Nor do I think we need one. Generally we are not too bothered whether people have ad blocking software or not, it's just if too many people have it, the site will stop covering it's costs.
Quote:
You surely want people to click on the ads, as it gains income for you, yet you are against Phorm which says it would deliver more targeted and relevant adverts!

So at the end of the day, what would you rather have - Cableforum showing irrelevant ads to its users (waste of time and space), or Cableforum showing relevant ads, thereby increasing your income? Exactly how much income does cableforum gain from advert clickthroughs? Have you thought about making Cableforum ad-free and asking for donations instead? Will cableforum be signing up to Phorm? If not, why not, after all, wouldn't relevant ads be better for both you and us than non-relevant ones?
We aren't in it for profit. Google does pay per view as well as per click, so as long as people see the ads, we get some money. This income is currently covering the sites costs (licences, servers etc). We did accept donations, but this (AFAIK - it was before my time as a mod) didn't really cover ths costs of running the site.

I asked people to consider their actions above simply because the poster called for a mass blocking of ads. If the site loses too much income, it stops covering it's own costs.
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Old 18-03-2008, 10:12   #1359
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Thanks for your reply Stuart

Out of interest, I just disabled adblock and allowed goggle analytics so I could see the adverts here. A big one for unsecured loans (not relevant) links to google for some relevant things and a strange one for 'Virgin coconut oil'! The Mind boggles! I knew Branson has his fingers in many pies, but Coconut oil? Wow
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Old 18-03-2008, 10:13   #1360
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/22...-warns-privacy
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Old 18-03-2008, 10:24   #1361
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

I often chose the disabled on this page option on forums such as this when using adblock plus, as Stuart said so long as we see the adds it helps to keep the forum running.
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Old 18-03-2008, 11:21   #1362
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

This is from the BT forum. I'm going to post it here because it exactly mirrors my worries as a forum owner. In fact I could not have asked the question better:

Quote:
How will a website owner whose website is visited by a user of Webwise, be informed that a third party is intercepting the data exchange between the site owner and the site visitor, and how will the website owner be enabled to opt out of having that website data sent to a third party? Heshe can use robots.txt to block legitimate search engines, but there appears no way to stop the site, even behind a password/login screen, being shared between a user (who has permission to access the password protected http pages) and a third party unknown to the site owner. (eg: a private forum site, using ordinary http access, for example, using phpBB software behind a password, adminstrator controlled login system). The site owner can take care to avoid his pages appearing on major search engine listings with robots.txt and the tools offered by google and yahoo for example, but it seems impossible for them to keep Phorm out unless by blocking all customers of Phorm linked ISP's. (except those using proxy IP's)
As for answers, no-one from up high in Virgin, Phorm, BT etc are saying anything to anyone anymore. They've all gone very quiet. Fascinating . . .
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Old 18-03-2008, 11:34   #1363
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

I too have worries over forum snooping by Phorm, I'm part of a national charity and only members are able to log into the forum, but with Phorm, they would get access to names and email addresses. Some of these people are quite vulnerable, and to suddenly get bombarded with inappropriate adverts relating to their illness would make things not only difficult, but could make their condition worse.

The sooner the bigwigs at these ISP's realise that Phorm is nothing more than a spyware/malware peddler the better.
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Old 18-03-2008, 12:34   #1364
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Re: the quote in post #1354

Whether or not any data are stored in the UK is irrelevant to the privacy issue - it's the snooping that takes place in the UK, and that - plus the fact that it's being done by our own ISPs - is what we're objecting to. Phorm can't wriggle out of the legal issues with that tactic, and neither can the ISPs. What they're planning to do is illegal, it's already been shown to be open to possible abuse, it sets a very dangerous precedent, and it gives our government a possible reason/excuse to take control of virtually the only aspect of people's lives that they do not, as yet, control, viz. our online affairs. It's the thin end of the wedge.

It must not be permitted to happen, and as far as I can see we the ISP customers are the only ones who can, or are even willing to, stop it - by voting with our feet. It occurs to me that other ISPs might use their non-involvement with Phorm as a selling point...and a damn good one at that. As Tim said, people don't use the Internet to see ads. For hell's sake, we see enough ads everywhere else! I for one don't pay attention to any advertising; if I'm interested in a product I'll consult friends & relatives who might already own it, or read online reviews (Amazon, usually), or just decide off my own bat. Nowhere in that process do I require ads of any sort. The few ads that filter through Firefox I simply ignore - I don't need targeted advertising, and I stated as much in the DPA letter I sent to Virgin.

I am also sick and tired of being told by governments, advertisers and, if this goes live, ISPs what I want. I will decide that, thank you very much!
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Old 18-03-2008, 12:47   #1365
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

an AC on
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03...egal/comments/

posted a generic web notice, will cableforum be placing something like this here?

"
New section added to my website's Legal Notices

By Anonymous Coward
Posted Tuesday 18th March 2008 10:23 GMT
After taking a little bit of advice, I've added the following to my website's legal notices page. Takes any doubt out of me giving any implied permission to profile.

"Profiling.
With the exception of recognised search engines as part of their standard service in directing Users to their first page on this Website, We give no permission, implied or explicit, to any service seeking to intercept or profile any internet traffic between this Website and any Users.

Any service seeking to intercept such traffic without prior written authorisation from Us shall be deemed to be making an unlawful interception."
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