Privacy International

Google inside buildingSlowly but surely, cases against Google over WiFi snooping are gathering pace. The UK police on Tuesday officially began to investigate the search company for criminal interception of wireless content, following a complaint by Privacy International, the pressure group.

Getting the police to take up the case was not easy, said Simon Davies of Privacy International. There were nearly two weeks of deliberations as to exactly how to proceed and which police body would handle it.  This is not surprising. The UK has long struggled to pursue any internet-related criminal cases, and only recently re-established any sort of centralised e-crime reporting body. A muddle of regional police forces have occasionally struggled to track even the more mundane phishing scams, much less accusations against a rich and powerful international internet company.

Still, the case now has an official crime reference number:  2318672/10, and a certain due process of gathering evidence must begin. Read more

Phorm logoFor a little while it looked like things were looking up for Phorm, the internet advertising technology company. There had been a year of controversy about the company’s technology which monitors internet users web surfing behaviour at the ISP level – a technique known as “deep packet inspection”, which has raised accusations of spying with some privacy activists.

But at the beginning of the year, things went quiet.  There were a few positive statements about targeted advertising from UK officials like Stephen Carter, and the company launched a trial with KT, the Korean broadband provider.

Now, suddenly, the controversy is raging again. Read more