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Alexander Hanff's Legal Analysis of the Phorm Trials

Posted: 01st May, 2008 By: MarkJ
Cable Forum's Alexander Hanff has made public his dissertation on a legal analysis of BT's secret Phorm trials, which took place during 2006 and again in 2007. Hanff has carefully analysed the relevant EU and UK laws, statutes and directives to find that, "fundamental legal requirements were not met."

Hanff goes on to conclude that BT's covert trials were illegal under criminal law and unlawful under common law, pointing towards the need for relevant public authorities to, "officially investigate the matter in the interests of public justice.":

In 2008 BT PLC made public statements admitting to running covert trials of Deep Packet Inspection technologies for the purpose of behavioural profiling; the trials included more than one hundred thousand of their customers during 2006 and 2007. Key public authorities, privacy experts, the press and the public have voiced concerns over whether or not the trials were legal. The controversy rests in whether or not the trials constituted unlawful interception of communications as a result of not obtaining informed consent from relevant parties.

This paper analyses a wide range of legislation including but not limited to: Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Fraud Act 2006, Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and Data Protection Act 1998 – in order to investigate the requirements with regards to consent, the core issue of this debate.

The full 26 page long paper can be downloaded and read in .PDF form here:
http://www.paladine.org.uk/phorm_paper.pdf
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