NebuAd In Trouble After Congress Suggests Its Entire Business Is Illegal

from the oops dept

We've covered the saga of companies like NebuAd and Phorm, who basically worked with ISPs to access your clickstream data and place advertisements based on your overall surfing habits, rather than the specific page that you're on at that moment. It didn't take long before people realized that such services (beyond just being somewhat deceptively implemented by ISPs) were probably illegal. And, of course, given the public outcry over these services, it didn't take long for Congress to get involved, suggesting that it felt these activities were illegal.

So, of course, if you happen to work at Phorm or NebuAd, you've got a bit of a business model problem (not to mention the potential legal problem). The Register is reporting that NebuAd has now laid off a bunch of employees -- and also dumped its PR firm. Considering the fact that no amount of PR probably could have stopped consumer outrage over how these services were implemented, it seems like the PR firm may have been something of a scapegoat --- or, perhaps, the company just realized that any PR work at this point is simply futile.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 4:43pm

    What a shame. Maybe after these companies fall, their high-class executives will have to move out of their fancy branded communities and live with the rest of us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Sam I am not, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 5:27pm

    I do not like green eggs and spam

    It is bad enough that this is being thrust upon the unsuspecting public .... but at the same time some ISPs are implementing caps and BW surcharges. So, in effect they are asking you to pay for the ads being thrown at you. No wonder some people are not happy with it.

    And in a related topic, with wireless providers charging for incoming SMS messages and an increase in SMS spam how long till a major change in that market ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    inc, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 7:34pm

    Too bad they don't think that same about homeland security and King George's raping of our rights...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    zcat, Aug 6th, 2008 @ 7:44pm

    But who's going to monitor your ISP?

    I just can't link to this often enough...

    Switzerland is an open source software tool for testing the integrity of data communications over networks, ISPs and firewalls. It will spot IP packets which are forged or modified between clients, inform you, and give you copies of the modified packets.

    Lets put an end to this bullshit. I want my IP traffic delivered exactly as it is, not 'enhanced' with advertising.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Aug 7th, 2008 @ 2:33am

    Re: But who's going to monitor your ISP?

    That's ace, thank you loads

    BT - your ass is mine "brewhoohooarrr!!" (evil laugh)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Truthseeker, Aug 7th, 2008 @ 6:21am

    They should have known . . .

    Only the Government is allowed to secretly monitor, track, record and categorize all your private activities . . . the nerve of these companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Abdul, Aug 7th, 2008 @ 9:37am


    What has the homeland security get to do with this one? May be u need some UFO to tell you that the days of privacy are long gone with the coming of the internet as As this article shows

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    MrScott, Aug 7th, 2008 @ 5:20pm

    Phorm should not be allowed to buddy up with ISP's!

    Well, good. Now that the word is out about NebuAd and Phorm, I have something for you. Steve Gibson at Gibson Research Center did a podcast with Leo Laporte talking about Phorm just a few weeks ago, and it's all bad. Not the podcast, Phorm is bad. REAL bad. I'd even say 'unbelievably bad'!

    If you have some time, listen to their podcast where Steve explains in detail what this so-called company does and how it operates. They're dirty, sneaky and underhanded practices to make money, will just simply piss you off. It's a long podcast, but it's worth it. By the time they're done explaining Phorm, you'll hate Phorm's guts! The mp3 link is: Security Now Episode 151.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jonah, Aug 11th, 2008 @ 10:51am

    What's this TCP/IP Protocol

    What I need is an Opaque Envelope to stop these ISP Snoopers, Postmen aren't supposed to even read or divulge the contents of postcards though!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Jonah, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    Wake I you've only won the first battle not the War!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2009 @ 9:50pm


    Fat chance. They'll find some other company to act unethically for. Many of the rich become rich, not because they are smarter than anyone else, but because they are more willing to act unethically. These people have already demonstrated their intent to act unethically if it means becoming rich and they will likely become rich again (until criminal sanctions are imposed. Of course that's highly unlikely in the U.S. Bayer got away with selling Aids tainted blood and no criminal sanctions were ever imposed, not to mention the Vioxx scandal without criminal sanctions).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Bettawrekonize, May 19th, 2009 @ 9:51pm

    Last post was by me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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