More on Phorm

“Mark Thompson” has commented on the previous short item on ‘Phiting Dirty,’ and I think his comment merits a blog item in its own right. I’ve reproduced his text below:

This new ‘smear’ website Phorm have setup is a complete disgrace. It is an attack on private individuals the likes of which I wouldn’t expect from a company trying to convince people to trust them with their internet browsing history.

As the person who created the petition against Phorm on the 10 downing street website I can certainly prove that the section on this website about the petition is completely wrong. They portray the petition as something that was thought up by ‘Privacy Pirates’ (Whatever that means ?), claim it desecrates the long history in this country of petitions and then claim the petition was completely missleading by infering that Phorm was illegal.

Ok, so to set the record straight, I created the petition myself as a private UK citizen. I have had no contact with any other ‘Privacy Pirates’ when creating the petition, it was never worded in such a way as to cause anything missleading about Phorm or the Privacy issue. If you read the text of the petition it does NOT state that Phorm is illegal, it petitions the government to investigate Phorm, and IF found to be illegal then ban it’s use, as well as asking for a review of privacy laws. I have had very little to do with most of the campaign against Phorm, other than creating the petition and posting a couple of vids on youtube to get the word out. I’ve never met or spoken to any of the named ‘Privacy Pirates’ such as Alex Hanff, and the petition was certainly not created as some organised attempt at damaging Phorm.

Sorry to bang on about the petition, but if Phorm have got it so wrong about this one particular section, it leaves me wondering how wrong have they got all the other information on this website?

I hope Phorm see sense, I would like to see nothing more than the website pulled and replaced with a public apology to those people named and insulted on the website, as well as an apology for insinuating that I attempted to desecrate the very principle of petitioning. I was simply exercising my right as a UK citizen to petition my Government on an issue I felt was important (and it turned out over 20,000 other people thought so too). For Phorm to characterise it the way they have with this website, well it is just plain insulting and I think it shows the true nature of the company.

[Disclaimer: I don’t know Mark and have not verified his remarks. If Phorm wish to comment then I’ll happily publish subject to the same rules applied to all comments here]

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  • At the age of five, Hanff REFUSED to share his crayons with the little girl next to him, saying she was “poopy” and would only draw a picture to be used against him.
  • At age twelve, Williamson accepted MONEY from his mother to buy sweets, but not to tell schoolmates in case they wanted some.
  • Hanff and Williamson may have attempted to access POTENTIALLY ILLEGAL images blocked by the Internet Watch Foundation.
  • Hanff and Williamson have used WIKIPEDIA at least once in their lives.
  • Hanff and Williamson INVADED POLAND in 1939.

(blog post:

what is shocking nows is how Phorm think that because ther was only a dozen ppl at a protest, that means only a dozen is against them. Stupid or what? how many did that petition? I c now there is ppl logging more foi to get to the facts. phorm needs to wake up to reality.
I signed that petition, as I believe in free speech and the freedom to roam the interwebs without being spied on by a company steeped in chicanry and lies. Does this make me a bad person too? I wasn`t misled by the petition in any way, I DYOR before putting my name to ANYTHING. How dare they misrepresent (lie?), about this. Insulted doesn`t even begin to describe just how I feel at present. Phorm, take a hint, pack a bag and leave. No-one wants you.
When operating as 121Media, Phorm ruined many PC's with their wares. I have always felt spyware companies lacked a bit of class. You can change the name and also the product but can you change the company?
I couldn't believe Phorm's new slander-site; I can only see it as opening them to renewed angles of criticism, which can only injure their already tarnished reputation. Here's hoping that it continues to stir up unrest surrounding their particular use of DPI.
I don't need to say anything more about phorm. People can simply look at their latest website and judge for themselves. I thoroughly recommend individuals to follow up each and every smear systematically - they will discover a trail to the truth similar to that unearthed about the false claims on th Stop Phoul Play page about the No.10 Downing St. petition. Unfortunately some of the more scurrilous "truths" told about organisations with the capability to brief libel lawyers, (BBC, ORG, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Dr Richard Clayton of Cambridge University, No.10 Downing St petition site managers) seem to have mysteriously disappeared from the Stop Phoul play site, although you can check the original versions by looking up the various Stop Phoul Play urls on the site. It seems that the "truths" about individuals without the deep pockets required for libel or takedown actions in this country, are still on the site. Phorm have truly shot themselves in the foot on this one. Congratulations!