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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 13-05-2008, 00:16   #6406
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by rryles View Post

snip

Also on the subject of robots.txt - Googlebot's full user agent string is something like:

Code:
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
The interesting part is the url pointing to information about google bot and what it does. If phorm fake that then they are certainly committing some offense IMO.
AFAIK Phorm/Webwise doesn't leave or use ANY user-agent string at all.
It assumes consent to profile if Google is allowed to spider, but I don't think it is using a googlebot useragent string. So far, there has been no information at all about what information a website owner might find in their logs to indicate that Webwise has been accompanying a site visitor.

Remember Webwise doesn't crawl the site in the way a spider does, it simply profiles/copies/ the browsing done by a site visitor with Webwise switched on.

To detect their visit a site has to detect the phorged cookies it sets, and also the Phorm UID cookie. (Which is what the dephormation tools for webmasters are attempting to do).

If anyone knows otherwise, I'd love to hear about it.
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Old 13-05-2008, 00:16   #6407
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Talking Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by labougie View Post
I know damned well that this will sound defeatist.
Oh for goodness sake, cheer up (and cheer me up too why don't you).

They won't win if you don't let them. Move to a non-Phorm ISP. Don't think about it, don't stall, don't sulk, don't hesitate... do it now. Its one call and you'll thank yourself afterwards. Vote with your feet.

Phorm still hasn't launched. Still, 3 months after it was first announced.

BT still aren't off the hook with respect to RIPA, PECR, DPA, and the consequences of their secret trials by a long chalk.

And even if... even IF behavioural targetting eventually escapes from the cess pit, copyright ownership will lay waste to Phorm and BT like a 1000 Megaton GPS guided thermonuclear strike on their HQ.


Phorm parasites suck the life blood from content owners.

I'm certain test cases (or very big out of court settlements) are coming down the line.

And Phorm, BT, Virgin and TalkTalk directors will be left sitting on smouldering scorched earth wondering whether a chat with a copyright lawyer would have been a smart idea before switching Webwise on.

"The owner of the copyright in a work of any description has the exclusive right to ... copy the work... issue copies of the work... make an adaptation of the work".

Exclusive.

Pete
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Old 13-05-2008, 00:25   #6408
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

It's getting harder to contact those BT managers

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

<emma sanderson's email address>:
62.239.224.89 failed after I sent the message.
Remote host said: 550 5.7.1 Message rejected as spam by Content Filtering.

I've sent the same email again via a different account and sending address so we'll see if that gets through.

I can't see what they didn't like about my email - quoted below:

<<Greetings.
Are you yet in a position to tell us what Phorm looks for in robots.txt to
decide whether a site can be snooped on?
If you are relying (wrongly) on this argument to claim that webmasters have
the ability to opt-out, then you cannot withold the information, especially
as we are now within 14 days of your latest published not-later-than date
for the start of the trials.

Does Phorm use a phorm specific user agent that a webmaster can selectively
block?
Does Phorm look for a robots.txt directives affecting ALL spiders?
Does Phorm rely on robots.txt directives aimed at Google?

If the latter - have Google been consulted?

Perhaps there is a need for a tutorial on the difference between Google and
Phorm from a webmaster's point of view.

Google spiders a site (and can be selectively blocked by the webmaster while
other search engines are allowed) - and then sends traffic to that site, for
the site's benefit.
Phorm makes illegal page copies of a sites intellectual content, snoops on
the entire (yes- ENTIRE) data exchange between a site visitor and the site,
and then profiles some of that data exchange (relatively imprecisely
according to Kent Ertugrul, and insecurely according to Clayton) and then
profits from that profiling, and cannot be selectively blocked by a
webmaster without shutting out search engines entirely. Choice for
webmaster? No choice. Informed choice? No information given to webmaster in
advance. Explicit informed choice of webmaster - NONE.

Final question for tonight in addition to the ones above (and this is the
crunch question if you really mean it about webmasters having choice

How does a webmaster ALLOW search engines, and BLOCK Phorm, using robots.txt
?
Easy to answer if you are sincere about offering choice.
Probably result in a fudge answer if you are NOT sincere about offering
choice to webmasters.

NB - offering to black list websites is NOT an answer I will accept. It's
not practical to run that system for the whole internet unless you are
contacting every website on the planet to warn them about Phorm, and
repeating that regularly for as long as Phorm is in existence.

I have a LOT more questions about website profiling issues from a
webmaster's point of view so I hope someone at BT has been thinking about
it. It's the next phase of the campaign.

Best wishes.
Not getting tired yet.>>
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Old 13-05-2008, 00:27   #6409
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

I hope people are not confusing the user-agent string which is passed across by a visitor to a website (be that a browser or a bot) and the user-agent string which search engines look for in robots.txt - they are two totally different things.

Phorm are quite incorrectly looking for googlebot in robots.txt (it will be interesting to see if Google object to this).

I would think that when a user on a Phorm/webwise ISP visits a website the user-agent string will be replicated from the intercepted request from the browser.
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Old 13-05-2008, 00:58   #6410
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dephormation View Post

And even if... even IF behavioural targetting eventually escapes from the cess pit, copyright ownership will lay waste to Phorm and BT like a 1000 Megaton GPS guided thermonuclear strike on their HQ.

Next target?

Kent's Hind-Quarters.
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Old 13-05-2008, 01:01   #6411
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by R Jones View Post
It's getting harder to contact those BT managers

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at yahoo.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

<emma sanderson's email address>:
62.239.224.89 failed after I sent the message.
Remote host said: 550 5.7.1 Message rejected as spam by Content Filtering.

...

Stop right there! I know what the problem is... The email was rejected because it had the word(s) "Phorm" in it and went straight into the spam bin.
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Old 13-05-2008, 01:36   #6412
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

OK couple of things.

Re: Robots.txt
Phorm claimed at the PIA Public Meeting that before they push a request through for a GET from a user to a website they will visit the document root for the domain to see if there is a robots.txt which allows Google access; if there is they will profile the pages the user requests. There is no indication (in fact they refused to tell us) what the user-agent will be for this robots.txt request but the user-agent for the user's GET requests will (I expect, although this has not been clarified either) be unchanged from the user's normal user-agent.

re: Share Prices
Talk in the press is that the reason for the latest shoring up of the stock is down to the BT trials being imminent to start in the next 2 weeks. Nothing to do with any large new contracts with anyone.

re: Google
Watch this space (and that is all I can say on the matter for now).

Alexander Hanff
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Old 13-05-2008, 01:56   #6413
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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
See carol and son seem to think the poll was rigged by tech heads againast phorm..

The poll cannot be rigged unless the person has a different PC and ISP ip number the vote is cast accepts one vote then every time you revisit you only see the results.
The number of votes seems broadly consistent with previous votes in ISPreview polls, the last 4 have all had over 1000 votes. http://www.ispreview.co.uk/cgi-bin/p...cgi?archives=1

If people had been rigging the vote I'd expect to see significantly more votes cast in the phorm poll, than in previous polls.

One thing I do find slightly surprising, is given that news items about Phorm have appeared on ISPreview, 25% of voters still had no idea what Phorm is.



Also Other polls on phorm are similarily negative, with only 4% voting here would not opt-out. and 82% of Skyuser forum members would leave Sky if Phorm was introduced by Sky http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/polls...u-stay-go.html
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Old 13-05-2008, 01:56   #6414
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by labougie View Post
I know damned well that this will sound defeatist
No they won't win - not this time...

This is the Internet where you don't have to have a mountain of cash to have just as much say as the big boys. Every single article that has mentioned phorm or webwise since February this year has so far been attended by teckies ready to denounce it for the nasty crap that it is.

Why do you think kent's PR machine doesn't bother posting their spin anymore? Because they got fed up with being beaten and made to look stupid - we did that -
Just with a broadband connection and probably no more than a couple of hundred quid between us ...

See?

 
Old 13-05-2008, 02:00   #6415
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

If only! What's Kent's personal worth? What's his NYSE reputation?
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Old 13-05-2008, 02:09   #6416
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

What's Kent's reputation on the Internet?
 
Old 13-05-2008, 02:13   #6417
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

hmm , i find this rather odd, the BBC will respond and defend the DrWho trademark and copyright, but so far, not a peep about the long standing BBC "webwise" trademark and copyright....

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/2008/...-from-the-web/

"...
“We note that you are supplying DR WHO items, and using trade marks and copyright owned by BBC.

You have not been given permission to use the DR WHO brand and we ask that you remove from your site any designs connected with DR WHO.

Please reply acknowledging receipt of this email, and confirm that you will remove the DR WHO items as requested.”
...
"
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Old 13-05-2008, 02:31   #6418
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHanff View Post
Phorm claimed at the PIA Public Meeting that before they push a request through for a GET from a user to a website they will visit the document root for the domain to see if there is a robots.txt which allows Google access; if there is they will profile the pages the user requests.
Did they specifically refer to the Googlebot by name? Most disallows use a user-agent of *, which would, of course, include Google. Google’s a reasonable example. A quote attributable to Phorn in Richard Clayton’s paper is far more general.
We work on the basis that if a site allows spidering of its contents by search engines, then its material is being openly published. Conversely, if the site has disallowed spidering and indexing by search engines, we respect those restrictions in robots.txt.
Why restrict themselves to only Googlebot, what about MSNBot and Slurp, etc.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dephormation View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by labougie View Post
I know damned well that this will sound defeatist.
Oh for goodness sake, cheer up (and cheer me up too why don't you).

They won't win if you don't let them. Move to a non-Phorm ISP. Don't think about it, don't stall, don't sulk, don't hesitate... do it now. Its one call and you'll thank yourself afterwards. Vote with your feet.
We can’t afford to lose. Everyone deserves to keep their privacy and we can hardly restrict our private communications to only those using non-phormed ISPs. However, it turns out that Phorm on fixed-line connections is only one of a whole range of concerns, including:

  • The use of Google and similar companies to store personal data.
  • Wireless access points using Phorm, NebuAd, Front Porch or similar.
  • The 45,000 UK users of comScore.
  • Even services that claim to protect you, but which are no better themselves, such as AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMcr View Post
The particular clause we are talking about was added to ntl's terms in May 2005

http://web.archive.org/web/200511302...e/termschanges
While we’re trying to get a more balanced perspective, you might like to read Phorm (formerly 121Media) Under Fire. I hope Kent appreciates that I’ve never once said he’s bad… just mad. I know that blog entry’s contradictory. It concludes by saying Phorm are “doing right by end-users”, whereas earlier it states that Kent wasn’t interested in providing end-user value. That’s the problem: Phorm take everything from the user and give nothing back.
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Old 13-05-2008, 02:42   #6419
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phormic Acid View Post
Did they specifically refer to the Googlebot by name? Most disallows use a user-agent of *, which would, of course, include Google. Google’s a reasonable example. A quote attributable to Phorn in Richard Clayton’s paper is far more general.
We work on the basis that if a site allows spidering of its contents by search engines, then its material is being openly published. Conversely, if the site has disallowed spidering and indexing by search engines, we respect those restrictions in robots.txt.
Why restrict themselves to only Googlebot, what about MSNBot and Slurp, etc.?
They only specified Google but I presume they were just being flippant. I expect if there is anything at all representing permission to spider to anyone, they will use that as implied consent.

Alexander Hanff
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Old 13-05-2008, 03:31   #6420
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Re: Virgin Media Phorm Webwise Adverts [Updated: See Post No. 1, 77, 102 & 797]

Quote:
Phorm take everything from the user and give nothing back.
That's not just Phorm, that's capital in action. Get used to it.

---------- Post added at 02:25 ---------- Previous post was at 01:43 ----------

Quote:
What's Kent's reputation on the Internet?
Do you think he gives a ****

---------- Post added at 02:31 ---------- Previous post was at 02:25 ----------

Quote:
What's Kent's reputation on the Internet?
Do you think he gives a ****

The man can get more $1000 whores than you can shake a stick at. And that's what it's all about.
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