ISP and data snooping

Our lives are becoming increasingly monitored we are constantly under surveillance, our movements, purchasing habits and more can be tracked and analysed by not just the government but corporations. Now the same level of surveillance may well becoming the norm from our ISPs (Internet Service Provider) as we surf what is meant to be one of the last bastions of free speech.

There is a growing movement within ISPs to “listen” in to your data use for either advertising use or for third party interest groups such as music and film industry. Take Virgin Media, which used to the really good broadband provider Blueyonder, has announced that it is working with the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) to monitor the data use of its service users to see if they are downloading music illegally and then send letters to them about it.

Now here is the problem with this, are they going to just monitor BitTorrent usage or are they going to snoop so much they actually detect what information is being torrented? If the first then that will catch those who use BitTorrent legally (yes it does have its legal uses), if the second then that is, in my view, an invasion of privacy as they monitor and analyse ALL data coming in… of course this makes it highly unlikely as that would cost a lot.

Then there is the whole issue of Phorm and the controversy surrounding it (also here) is another concern that keeps growing. There is of course moves to make Phorm illegal under the wiretapping law, which raises questions about the above snooping by Virgin (and other ISPs eventually).

Of course this all touches on the larger issues of civil liberties, freedom, surveillance, big brother, net neutrality, and the like. But what do you guys think, do you think data snopping is ok? Do you think its a good thing? Whats your views of Phorm? Should we just accept this as an inevitable part of our world now?

Let the (civil) discussion begin

via BBCNews

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  1. If they go for monitoring all traffic, surely encrypted BitTorrent would help?

    Some people would say that’s overkill if I’m not doing anything illegal, but put it this way: Why would I want my ISP to know that I’m downloading the latest Ubuntu distro, or SecondLife client?

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