The UK Home Office has been accused of being in bed with Phorm after emails have come to light that show the government asking if the ad-targeting firm would be “comforted” by its position.
The Home Office appears to have been in discussion with the company over the advice it was drawing up for the public in relation to targeted advertising, though it has denied that it has provided “any advice to Phorm directly relating to possible criminal liability for the operation of their advertising platform in the UK”.
The emails, which were obtained by a member of the public following a freedom of information request, show Phorm repeatedly asking the department if it “has no objection to the marketing and operation of the Phorm product in the UK”.
Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on Home Affairs, Baroness Sue Miller, said:
“My jaw dropped when I saw the Freedom of Information exchanges. The fact the Home Office asks the very company they are worried is actually falling outside the laws whether the draft interpretation of the law is correct is completely bizarre.”
Meanwhile, the company has launched a website – http://www.stopphoulplay.com/ – which it says aims to stop the misinformation surrounding the technology.
A page on the Home Office website has been linking to a porn site for an unknown length of time. The page was from the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism and the link involved was supposed to direct all clickers to a body called the Technical Advisory Board where you might normally be able to find information about new rules in regulations. In this case however, it redirected people to some Japanese pornography.
It’s unclear how long the link was there or the kind of sexual acts on display on the other side but, according to a spokesperson from the Home Office, the link had originally been to a perfectly safe healthy part of the internet until the business on the other end became defunct and was replaced by pornographers. Of course, it may have just been that this business found another more viable model of survival in the current economic quicksand and wanted some solid traffic.
The Home Office will be investigating the matter. I shall be applying for a position on the task force.
It’s very easy to become alarmed by some of the scaremongering stories which appear in certain sections of the UK press when it comes to technology and privacy, but this one – if abused – could be pretty serious indeed.
According to The Times, The Home Office has developed plans to give the UK police force the power to remotely hack into the personal computer of anyone it suspects might be involved with something dodgy — you know, terrorism, paedophilia, drug trafficking, that kind of thing — without a warrant, with the additional joyous notion that police forces from across the European Union can request information on any British Citizen.
Yes, it does all sound a bit Daily Mail, but unsurprisingly it’s raised the hackles of the human rights group Liberty, which has said that it will mount a legal challenge.
Epson has today announced four new inkjet printers boasting not only high quality printing but a range of other features including faxing and wireless access.
The Stylus Office BX300F (£79.99) is a compact 4-in-1 printer offering faxing, scanning, and copying. It uses individual DURABrite Ultra Ink cartridges, making it more efficient and without inks bleeding through the paper.
It will print up to 31 pages per minute, scans at 1200dpi, and comes with OCR software…
The Government is set to publish guidelines on Friday on the dangers of social networking sites for children in the latest move to scare the bejesus out of parents all over the UK.
The 79-page document makes recommendations that sites like Facebook, Bebo and the other usual suspects should be forced to carry adverts for the 999 emergency service…