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Prevent ISPs spying on their customers

Comment 18th May 2015

Enact a law to protect the customers of Internet Service Providers from being spied on.

I was appauled to hear what BT did with their secret Phorm spying trials. They tried to sell their customer's private data to a marketing company, and didn't even feel it was necessary  to warn people it was happening.

Now other ISPs, including Virgin Media, are looking into similar systems to generate income through marketing and to spy in the name of detecting copyright infringement on behalf of media companies.

This is unacceptable. People have a reasonable expectation of privacy when online, in the same way as they do when speaking on the phone. Imagine the outrage if BT started routine monitoring of all phone calls and began inserting adverts related to the topic of conversation.

Why does this matter?

Spying on internet activity is the largest act of mass surveilence going on today. At least with CCTV the number of separate organisations who own the cameras makes it harder to tie all the data together, but an ISP can see everything their users do.

Hopefully in time all internet traffic will be encrypted by default, but until that time strong measures are required to protect everyone’s privacy.

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