Nicholas Bohm, General Counsel for the Foundation for Information Policy Research, said:
"We are one of those organisations expressing deep concern. So far the Information Commissioner has neither acknowledged nor replied to our letter of 17 March, which raised serious and important issues.
"We now know that BT have already conducted secret trials of this technology, testing the effectiveness of snooping on their customers' Internet activities. They claim to have received extensive legal and other advice beforehand, but have failed to give the reasoning on which this advice is based.
"As we pointed out in our letter, the illegality stems not from breaching the Data Protection Act directly, but arises from the fact that the system intercepts Internet traffic. Interception is a serious offence, punishable by up to two years in prison. Almost incidentally, because the system is unlawful to operate, it cannot comply with Data Protection principles."
Richard Clayton, FIPR's Treasurer, and author of a recent technical analysis of Phorm's technology, said:
"Phorm have accepted the accuracy of my detailed write-up of the way their system works. Examining the detail makes it crystal clear that our earlier letter came to the right conclusion. Website data is being intercepted. The law of the land forbids this.""