British Telecom's eavesdropping software crashed browsers

A leaked report on British Telecom's spyware "Phorm" project — eavesdropping software that the ISP secretly infected its customers' PCs with, in order to insert ads into their browsing sessions — caused browser crashes, slowdowns and system instability.

The users were not informed they were being made guinea pigs for a new revenue system for BT and had no way to opt out of the system, according to the report. The JavaScript caused flickering problems for some users as the script reported back information about the content of the web page to a Phorm server. The script also crashed browsers that loaded a website that relied excessively on anchor tags. Additionally, the rogue JavaScript showed up unexpectedly in user's posts to some web forums.


(Thanks, Robbo!)